It often takes more time to resolve symptoms of anxiety with CBT and/or EFT when clients are on medication. I find clients who are on high dosages of medication very drowsy, having difficulty in concentration, restless and unenthusiastic in general about everything.
It is difficult to ask the client to focus on the anxiety while doing EFT as their senses are dulled and they cannot feel the intensity in their bodies due to the effect of the medicines.
According to Marla W. Deibler, a clinical psychologist and director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC, benzodiazepines give temporary relief, and “take the edge off” but “unfortunately, these patients are unlikely to successfully overcome their anxiety until they are no longer relying on benzodiazepines.
She says that benzodiazepines lead to a habit formation and physiological and psychological dependence whereby the patient feels that they cannot handle their anxiety on their own.
“The problem is that patients need to experience anxiety in a systematic way with a clinician, so they can practice the coping skills they’ve learned and realize that they can minimise their anxiety.”
If their ability to experience anxiety is blunted by benzodiazepines, they may be less likely to benefit from CBT and may have a higher potential for relapse.” (Tartakovsky, n.d)
Effective way to manage anxiety if you are already on medication
If you are already on medication, continue it but start practising EFT and CBT techniques. Consult with your psychiatrist to gradually reduce the medication.( Don’t stop it abruptly)
Once you feel that you can handle the anxiety with less medication, you will feel more confident. Keep working on anxiety with a practitioner and over a period of time, you might not need the medication anymore. The key is to build the confidence that you can manage the symptoms with self help techniques like EFT.
Image copyright Puja Kanth Alfred