New research into behaviours linked to anxiety
IHMRI PhD candidate Johanna Meyer’s research looks at improving treatments for anxiety disorders, one of the most common mental health concerns in the community.
Her research focuses on safety behaviours or the actions that result in response to unrealistic or exaggerated perceptions of threat.
“An individual with social anxiety may avoid meeting new people, using public transportation, or making phone calls. When in social situations, they may avoid eye contact, practice what they are going to say in their head before they say it out loud, or leave the situation entirely,” said Johanna Meyer.
“Although safety behaviours are often effective in avoiding or reducing anxiety in the short-term, they tend to maintain and can even exacerbate anxiety in the long-term. One common safety behaviour is using mobile phones to distract oneself from feeling anxious, “she added.
“My PhD explores the beliefs people have about their safety behaviours and how these beliefs relate to anxiety. I hope a better understanding of this behaviour will lead to better treatment outcomes.”
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Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
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