Free Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Anxiety and Depression of ADHD-PI or SCT

There is an Australian Website that offers free online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat anxiety and depression. As you know, anxiety and depression are diagnosed in over 50% of people with Inattentive ADD ADHD-PI), Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) and ADHD of all varieties.

There is considerable debate among health care providers about whether the anxiety and depression associated with ADHD-PI and SCT is the result of the inattentiveness, slow reaction time, self esteem and social skills problems of these conditions or if the inattentiveness, etc is caused by the depression and anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a very effective tool, designed by psychotherapist, that aims to teach people with and without mental illness learn how to better manage stressful life situations. According to the Mayo Clinic this form of therapy has been extensively studied and found to be a very helpful tool for treating mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. The therapy involves a limited number of sessions and works quickly to assist you in becoming aware of negative thinking and enabling you to view challenging situations more clearly so that you may respond to them in a more effective way.

CBT has traditionally been performed in a therapist office but in the last five years this therapy has been offered in England, Australia and the U.S. online. Research studies performed on the benefits of online CBT have found this form of counseling to be as effective as the face to face office based cognitive therapy.

Australia has a universal coverage health system and a rate of ADHD and mental illness that roughly approximates the rates in the U.S. According to Responseability.org, 20% of Australians will experience some form of mental illness in any 12 month period and the most common disorders diagnosed in Australia are anxiety and depression. These statistics are similar to the mental health statistics of the United States.

In the Unites States, the health care and the pharmaceutical industries are especially driven by a profit incentive. It is difficult, at times, to trust studies performed by pharmaceutical companies because of their vested interest in the success of the products that they are promoting. The health care industry in the U.S. is a for profit system and precious little is ever free. There is a very slim chance that a healthcare organization in the U.S. would offer a free online Cognitive Behavioral Program. Some lobby would object stating that it was affecting their bottom line and the free program would be no more.

You can see where I fall on the question of Universal Health coverage but in my humble opinion, it is in the best interest of any country to keep their citizens free from any and all illnesses and to make health care as accessible as possible.  In countries where the government pays the medical bills, this policy is essential. Healthy citizens cost the country far less money than unhealthy citizens so programs that are readily available, readily accessible and free are common place. With this in mind, it did not surprise me to find that Australia has an online program that is free and available to anyone needing such a program.

A short registration form must be filled out prior to starting the program but involves little more than choosing a user name and password. They will ask you what country you live in and if you think you will complete the entire program. After this short registration, your are ready to start. Thanks MoodGym for this incredible resource. If you or your children are having symptoms of anxiety, depression, negative thinking or problems with self esteem, this program could make a huge difference. Give it a try and let me know how you do.

7 comments:

  1. Is the site you're referring to the "e-couch" linked on MoodGym's page, or something else? Could you provide a link? Thanks!

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  2. From the link above you should be able to log into the anxiety and depression cognitive behavioral therapy registration page. Try this link if the one above does not work.

    http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome/new/terms

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  3. I was kind of surprised that the AAP's "EVIDENCE-BASED CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTIONS" report lists CBT as "No Support" for ADD:

    The table is here:
    http://www.aap.org/mentalhealth/docs/CR%20Psychosocial%20Interventions.F.0503.pdf

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  4. Thanks for your comment. With Inattentive ADHD there is often an emotional component and CBT is often very helpful for the anxiety and depression that can accompany ADHD. I am pretty sure that the AAP does recommend CBT for anxiety and depression and if they do not, they really should!

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  5. You are right. CBT is in the "Level 1 - Best Support" column for both anxious and depressive behaviors.

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  6. CBT actually IS very helpful for ADD, but ONLY if it is ADD-specific CBT, AND ONLY if the therapist is well-trained in ADD-specific therapy. This is crucial, as there are professionals in this area who believe CBT with a therapist who does not have ADD-specific training can actually have a negative effect on the ADD patient.

    I couldn't afford counseling with an ADD-trained therapist, so I purchased Mary V. Solanto's therapist training guide, "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: Targeting Executive Dysfunction".

    It is excellent so far. It focuses on improving the core problem areas, like forgetfulness, procrastination, being on time, etc., and describes very specific methods that therapists should use.

    ADD-specific CBT by an ADD-trained therapist is crucial.

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  7. Thanks so much for this information and for this resource!!

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