Here's our number one technique for MRI anxiety, chosen in part, for many long term reasons.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is much more of a longer term solution. Done correctly, it is believed to be the one treatment most likely to relieve the actual anxiety most over the long term. CBT is an approach that involves learning to control the thoughts that occur when confronted with the fear-inducing situation in such a way as to change the reaction.
So how do you actually do it? Well you'll need some professional help to take you through the complete process and do it right but simply put it involves both a cognitive aspect - how and what we think - and a behavioral aspect - how we act then and how we change our behaviors.
This therapy often includes a gradual exposure to the feared situation at a gentle pace. A discussion of that experience is then part of the therapy.
Many people who study and research phobias tell us if we can be conditioned to think and feel negatively, then we can be reconditioned to think healthfully. With properly trained techniques, we can begin living and acting differently before we confront real-life challenges.
Again, this is a longer term technique and you really can't start it a day or two before your MRI. But if strong levels of anxiety are something you suffer from often, or your health condition means you may be having a lot of MRI scans in the future, you may want to consider putting the time and effort into this area.
The following links may help you search for a professional who can help you with claustrophobia:
ABCT - Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
NACBT - National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists
NAMI - National Alliance of Mental Illness
So your doctor ordered an MRI for you. Feeling claustrophobic already? Maybe more than a little nervous? There are many things you can do before the actual exam to relieve your anxiety.
We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
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IMPORTANT: The information on this page, and throughout the entire site, is not intended to provide advice or treatment for a specific situation. Consult your physician and medical team for information and treatment plans on your specific condition(s). Images are shown for illustrative purposes. Do not attempt to draw conclusions or make diagnoses by comparing these image to other medical images, particularly your own.
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