How Therapy Can Help With Your Dysautonomia

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The 2017 dysautonomia conference happened in Nashville, Tennessee, which was the Annual MSA Patient and Family Conference. Around 200 families attended the event, and 2000 people streamed it online. This event put more emphasis on updating patients with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) of the critical advances in the study of the disease, including treatment.

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Living with dysautonomia means undergoing the necessary treatment. It also means dealing with the stress, anxiety, and physical symptoms of the disease. However, a patient’s condition is not simply managed with medications. Because someone with dysautonomia may have recurring thoughts, worries, and depression, it’s equally important to consider their wellness and manage their stress. This is where therapy can help.

Therapy is different from taking medication. It attempts to unravel the underlying causes of your unrelenting worries and fears. It can also show you ways to relax, perceive situations in a new light, and generate better coping and problem-solving abilities. Anxiety disorders vary considerably, some of which are a result of other illnesses like in the case of dysautonomia. So when seeking therapy, it should tailor to your specific conditions and diagnosis. Here are some leading approaches in the field of treatment and how it can help.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Considered as a widely used approach, it has shown effectiveness in the alleviation of panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias, amidst many other conditions. Dysautonomic patients tend to develop mental illnesses. Thus, CBT can help address distorted perceptions of the way you look at the world and in yourself. It mainly involves two components:

  • Cognitive therapy examines the contribution of negative thoughts on your dysautonomia induced anxiety.
  • Behavior therapy examines your behavior and helps in handling the situation.

The basic premise of CBT is that the way we feel is affected by our thoughts and not explicitly based on the events that transpired. Our perception of the situations largely determines how we’re going to react and feel. The goal of CBT is to identify and change the way you perceive things negatively, which, in turn, changes the way you feel.

Exposure Therapy

People who have dysautonomia experience anxiety often. They tend to choose to do inconvenient actions to avoid their fears, and it’s only natural to avoid the things that scare you. However, the problem with this behavior is you never get the opportunity to overcome and walk past it. You can be stuck with fear and doing irrational behaviors all your life to evade it. 

Exposure therapy allows you to confront your fears. Its objective is to expose you to it numerous times until you gain control over your fear.

Dysautonomia can be chronic and progressive, and living with it can have adverse effects on your mental health. However, it won’t be as difficult as it may seem if you have proper support and treatment.