Yoga can Help Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Yoga can Help Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Yoga provides short term benefit for patients with generalized anxiety disorder
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is the gold standard treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder
  • Yoga more effective than stress-management education for generalized anxiety disorder

Yoga improves generalized anxiety disorder more effectively compared to standard education on stress management. However, yoga is not as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

CBT is the gold standard form of structured talk therapy. It helps patients to identify negative thinking for better responses to challenges.

Yoga can Help Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a result when people worry a lot more about common situations and occurrences.

GAD is also sometimes known as chronic anxiety neurosis. It currently affects around 6.8 Americans.

People with GAD worry uncontrollably, and sometimes they are unable to say what they are worried about.

People with GAD can be distinguished from other mental health issues as they worry about various topics over a long period, or they may not be able to identify the source of their worry.

Study Details The study consisted of 226 men and women with GAD. They were randomly assigned into three groups:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Stress-management education (standardized control technique)
An evidence-based protocol was followed for CBT treatment , which included psychoeducation, cognitive interventions, and muscle relaxation techniques.

Kundalini yoga included breathing techniques, physical postures, yoga theory, relaxation exercises, and meditation practice.

Stress-management education (control group) received lectures on the physiological, psychological, medical effects of stress and antianxiety effects of lifestyles. Homework mainly consisted of listening to educational material about nutrition, stress, and lifestyle.

Each treatment was administered in groups of three to six participants. The sessions were two-hours weekly for 12 weeks. Daily homework for 20 minutes was assigned.

Study Results

After three months of GAD treatment, both CBT and yoga were found to be significantly more effective then stress management.

Around 54% of those who practiced yoga met the response criteria for meaningfully improved symptoms. Whereas only 33% of people in the stress management criteria met the requirement.

CBT treated individuals had the highest response, as 71% met the symptom improvement criteria.

CBT response remained significantly better than stress education after six months follow-up. Yoga was no longer significantly better.

Yoga as a Treatment for Anxiety

CBT treatment is generally the gold standard first-line treatment for generalized anxiety disorder.

Medications such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines may also be used. However, not everyone is willing to take medications as they might have side effects.

Yoga can offer a short-term benefit for people who wish to seek complementary and alternative interventions for anxiety.

Yoga is also very easily accessible, unlike CBD. Yoga also has several health benefits.

In summary, yoga is an effective option for short term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Future research will help understand who is most likely to benefit from yoga for generalized anxiety disorder.

Source: Medindia

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