Hi, Let me say I can imagine how worried, anxious and sad
you must have been about this situation. It sounds like your mother has signs of mood disorder - anxiety
and panic attacks. Perhaps, she may have been under some stress
lately. She may benefit from having a Cognitive-Behavior therapy (CBT). CBT is a most effective therapy for anxiety and depression. CBT for anxiety consists of Self-Monitoring, Relaxation strategies, Exposure treatments, Cognitive therapy. A combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy are considered to be effective to treat Anxiety and fear. If her symptoms are unbearable, she may need to see a psychiatrist (M.D.) for medication evaluation and prescription.
She may ask her doctor for a psychologist/psychotherapist that she can work with weekly. Or she may call her insurance company and get a list of providers in her area. Or, you can search a licensed psychologist on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as Anxiety. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in Cognitive-behavior therapy and Anxiety. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that she wants to work with – Male or female? To note, many therapists offer initial consultation for free. So she can see it as an informational meeting. She can ask any question and negotiate psychotherapy fee. If she seeks a low fee counseling, she or you may call The United Way toll free # XXXXX to find the community mental health centers in her area in which she can get counseling even without health insurance. Additionally, she may benefit from having a support group for adults with anxiety in her area. To find a group therapy or a support group for herself, contact a local hospital or a clinic by asking if they offer a group for people with anxiety. If you want to find a support group online, check Mental Health America website section (http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_support_group) - Find a group in your area. If her anxiety and panic attacks worsen for next one month, she may see a psychiatrist (M.D.) who specializes in Geriatric Psychiatry and Anxiety for her to get medication evaluation. To find a Geriatric psychiatrist in her area, please contact AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY (WWW.aagpgpa.org)-XXXXXSuite 1050 Bethesda, MD(NNN) [email protected]
You may also encourage her to try some or all of the following to improve her memory, attention and mood - 1. Exercise moderately, but regularly, 2. Eat healthy but delicious meals, 3. Regularize her sleep cycle, 4. Don't drink to excess or abuse drugs, 5. Spend some time every day in play, 6. Develop recreational outlets that encourage creativity, 7. Distance herself from destructive situations or people, 8. Practice mindfulness meditation
, or walk, or an intimate talk, every day, 9. Allow herself to feel pride in your accomplishments, 10, Listen to compliments and expression of affection, 11. Build and use a support system, 12. Pay more attention to small pleasures and sensations, 13. Avoid unstructured time, 14. Yoga, meditation, Acupuncture, Guided imagery, massage therapy, and Creative art therapy may be helpful. Additionally, Biofeedback may work for her stress and depression. Biofeedback is a self-control technique since it involves having a client to learn to modify his or her own behaviors and is based, like many other self-control procedures, on the principle of operant conditioning. The biofeedback may work for anxiety and physical pain. Please contact - The association for Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (http://www.aapb.org/consumers.html) for resources and to find a provider in your area. I hope your mother gets help and support from her doctor, a psychologist, a geriatric specialist, family and friends. Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,
Edited by Dr. Olsen on 1/1/2011 at 1:49 AM EST