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Monday, September 1, 2014
Anxiety and Stress Disorders
I have been dealing with mild anxiety and periods of mild depression since childhood. Right now it is a little worse than usual because of job-stress. Recently I purchased a couple of relaxation CDs as a tool to help me relax. I find that the ones that are based on trance-inducing/hypnosis techniques are very effective in putting me in a trance-like, relaxed state. The problem is, the effect doesn`t last, and in fact I usually feel worse, and more irritable and anxious, afterwards. If I use them in the evening I often have trouble falling asleep. Should I quit using these CDs, or does it take longer for potential benefits to show? Can it be harmful to experiment with these techniques without professional supervision?
Most CD based programs are unlikely to be harmful, even if used without professional supervision. However, as you noted, they are often unlikely to be helpful, too. I would advise you to stop using the CDs if you are not getting the benefit you desire, and consider scheduling a few sessions with a therapist or a counselor. You can learn techniques that are personalized to your situation and likely to be more beneficial.
Nancy Elder, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati