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Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
Smith leeandri literature_research
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  • 1. GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER_______________________________________________ Research Summary_______________________________________________ In partial fulfilment of the requirements in Introduction to Psychology B at Cornerstone Institute_______________________________________________ by Leeandri Smith 32156 27 August 2012
  • 2. ContentsBIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................................................74BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................................................7BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................................................7BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................................................7BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................................................................7
  • 3. 1Introduction“Psychological disorders, also known as mental disorders, are patterns of behavioural orpsychological symptoms that impact multiple areas of life. These disorders create distress forthe person experiencing these symptoms.”(http://psychology.about.com/od/psychotherapy/tp/psychological-disorders.htm). Here are someexamples of psychological disorders: anxiety disorders, cognitive disorders, developmentaldisorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders etc. The topic our group had to do wasgeneralized anxiety disorder. I summarized some of the researched I did for our grouppresentation. I will try to explain what generalized anxiety is, as well as the symptoms, someof the classifications, the causes of generalized anxiety, the diagnoses and the treatment forgeneralized anxiety.Understanding Generalised AnxietyWhile worrying and feeling nervous is something that all human beings experience, as withanything, too much of something can be bad for you. Normal anxiety can become a problemwhen it is: excessive, feels uncontrollable, is experienced as intrusive in your life, ispersistent – seeming to always be around, and causes you significant distress, or impairs yourability to go about your day-to-day life. This is when normal anxiety becomes generalisedanxiety. Some common things people have told us they experience when they havegeneralised anxiety are: Chronic worries running through their head. They occur over andover again like a broken record uncontrollable anxiety. Having a strong desire to be incontrol of their emotions, yet feeling as if the anxiety and worry has taken control over themand there is nothing they can do to stop it. This can be like intrusive thoughts. No matter howmuch they try not to worry, not to think about things that make them nervous, these thoughtskeep popping back into their mind against their will, hating uncertainty, wanting to knowwhat is going to happen in the future and finding the experience of ‘not knowing’ very
  • 4. 2difficult indeed, feeling restless, keyed up, on edge and unable to relax, being physicallytense. Feeling nervy or uptight, and having tightness or stiffness in the muscles of their body.Sleep disturbance, having trouble falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or experiencing unsettledsleep, because their mind is constantly ticking over with worry. You can have problemsconcentrating and focusing on a task. You are procrastinating about getting things done.Putting things off because it all feels too much and too overwhelming. Avoiding situations inwhich they worry or get anxious and nervous. (Wells, A: 50-55). One of the importantfeatures of generalised anxiety is that the anxiety is spread across a number of different areassuch as health, work, interpersonal relationships, finances, and so on. This makes it differentfrom other anxiety problems, such as social anxiety or phobias, where nervousness andworrying are more specific to particular situations. (Wells, A: 12-20). You may think thatgeneralised anxiety is not as serious as other problems, such as social anxiety, phobias orpanic, where the anxiety may appear to be more intense. However, generalised anxiety,nervousness, or worrying can significantly interfere in a persons life because it is long-termand chronic. In this way, it can be likened to having a condition like asthma or diabetes.Unfortunately, people who have problems with generalised anxiety often do not seektreatment, as they might feel embarrassed to be seen as someone who cannot control theirnerves. They may also believe that because they "have always been like this", they just haveto live with it. Having these views may mean that they dont seek help for their worrying andnervousness, but it is important to remember that there are ways to break the worry habit. It isalso not uncommon for people experiencing generalised anxiety to also experience othertypes of anxiety disorders, or to experience mood disorders, such as depression, at the sametime. Often when people do seek treatment it is for these other problems, rather than for theirtendency to worry excessively.(Heimberg, R.G., Turk, C.L., & Mennin, D.S:15-18)
  • 5. 3What Causes Generalised Anxiety?So, how does one become a chronic worrier? There’s no simple answer, of course, aseveryone is different. However, there are some important factors that have been identified.These factors can generally be divided into biological and psychological causes.Biological FactorsNo single gene has been associated with generalised anxiety. Based on twin and familystudies, it does seem that individuals may inherit a vulnerability to develop an anxietydisorder. These studies have reported a general vulnerability to develop an anxiety disorder,and interestingly, also a mood disorder. Notice that the researchers tell us that this is a generalvulnerability, rather than a specific vulnerability for a specific type of disorder. In addition, ithas been found that people born with a particular ‘anxious’ type of temperament, may bemore likely to develop an anxiety disorder later in life. (Barlow, D.H:33-36)Psychological FactorsHowever, it is important to remember that while our biology may make us vulnerable todeveloping an anxiety disorder, not all people with this vulnerability go on to developproblematic anxiety. A great deal depends on the lifestyle of that person, the types of lifestressors they have encountered, and how they cope with such stressors. Stressful, traumatic,and often uncontrollable life events may contribute to the development of generalisedanxiety. When such events occur, some people may come to believe that life is dangerousand unpredictable, and that worrying about possible future negative events is a way of copingwith the uncertainty of life. (Barlow, D.H., Raffa, S.D., Cohen, E.M:55-60) They may thinkthat worrying helps they achieve a greater sense of certainty and control, because they wouldbe better prepared for anything. Anxiety may also develop when the people around you give
  • 6. 4you information about what is threatening and how to cope with those threats. For example,a child may have seen a parent constantly worrying about current circumstances andpotentially negative future events, and may learn to follow the parent’s behaviour.Alternatively, you may have been told that “Worrying is good and shows that you are aconscientious and prepared person”. These sorts of indirect and direct messages mayincrease your chances of developing generalised anxiety. Finally, anxiety is made worsewhen one begins avoiding things they have some concern about. Avoidance will quicklymake something that is initially a slight concern for a person, become a source of anxiety. Ifthe people in your life (i.e., parents, siblings, peers, spouses/partners) support your avoidanceof various things, this may make your anxiety worse in the long run. People usually supporta person’s avoidance because they don’t want the person to feel any distress. However,experiencing a small amount of distress and learning how to solve or cope with the problemis likely to stop more severe anxiety in the long run. (Barlow, D.H:70-74)Generalized Anxiety Disorder SymptomsGeneralized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary. They can include the following symptoms:Constant worrying or obsession about small or large concerns, restlessness and feeling keyedup or on edge, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or your mind "going blank", irritability,muscle tension or muscle aches, trembling, feeling twitchy or being easily startled, troublesleeping, sweating, nausea or diarrhea and shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat. There maybe times when your worries dont completely consume you, but you still feel anxious evenwhen theres no apparent reason. For example, you may feel intense worry about your safetyor that of your loved ones, or you may have a general sense that something bad is about tohappen. (http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders)
  • 7. 5Diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder:Excessive anxiety and worry about several events or activities most days of the week, for atleast six months, difficulty controlling your feelings of worry, anxiety or worry that causesyou significant distress or interferes with your daily life and anxiety that isnt related toanother mental health condition, such as panic attacks, substance abuse or post-traumaticstress disorder (PTSD). Generalized anxiety disorder often occurs along with other mentalhealth problems, which can make diagnosis and treatment more challenging. Some disordersthat commonly occur with generalized anxiety disorder include the following: phobias, panicdisorder, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.(http://www.medicinenet.com/anxiety/page2.htm)TreatmentThe two main treatments for generalized anxiety disorder are medications and psychotherapy.You may even benefit more from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and errorto discover exactly what treatments work best for you. There are several different types ofmedications that are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Antidepressants aremedications that influence the activity of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) thought to playa role in anxiety disorders, examples of antidepressants used to treat generalized anxietydisorder include Paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor).Buspirone is anti-anxiety medication may be used on an ongoing basis. As with mostantidepressants, it typically takes up to several weeks to become fully effective. A commonside effect of buspirone is a feeling of light headedness shortly after taking it. Less commonside effects include headaches, nausea, nervousness and insomnia. Benzodiazepines inlimited circumstances your doctor may prescribe one of these sedatives for short-term reliefof anxiety symptoms. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium),
  • 8. 6chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Benzodiazepines are generally onlyused for relieving acute anxiety on a short-term basis. They can be habit forming and cancause a number of side effects, including drowsiness, reduced muscle coordination, andproblems with balance and memory. In some cases, medications not specifically approved forgeneralized anxiety disorder may be tried. Off-label use is a common and legal practice ofusing a medication to treat a condition not specifically listed on its prescribing label as anFDA-approved use. Psychotherapy are also known as talk therapy and psychologicalcounselling, psychotherapy involves working out underlying life stresses and concerns andmaking behaviour changes. It can be a very effective treatment for anxiety. Cognitivebehavioural therapy is one of the most common types of psychotherapy for generalizedanxiety disorder. Generally a short-term treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy focuses onteaching you specific skills to identify negative thoughts and behaviours and replace themwith positive ones. Even if an undesirable situation doesnt change, you can reduce stress andgain more control over your life by changing the way you respond.(http://gad.about.com/od/symptoms/a/dsmiv.htm)ConclusionGeneralized anxiety disorder is a relatively common problem that leads to considerablepersonal and social costs. Although individuals with GAD suffer from excessive anduncontrollable worry and anxiety, they often wait many years before seeking help becausethey mistakenly assume that worry is an immutable part of their personality. This isunfortunate given that there are a number of effective pharmacological and psychologicaltreatments for GAD. But I believe with God anything is possible, and He will help you andlead you in any problem or illness.Word Count: 1788 words
  • 9. BIBLIOGRAPHYBarlow, D.H., Raffa, S.D., Cohen, E.M. (2002) Psychosocial treatments for panicdisorders, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. In P.E. Nathan & J.M. Gorman (Eds.),A Guide to Treatments that Work (2nd ed., pp. 301-335). New York: Oxford University Press.Barlow, D.H. (2002). Anxiety and Its Disorders: The Nature and Treatment of Anxiety andPanic (2nd ed.). London: Guilford Press.Heimberg, R.G., Turk, C.L., & Mennin, D.S. (2004). Generalized Anxiety Disorder:Advances in Research and Practice. New York: Guilford Press.Wells, A. (1997). Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders: A Practice Manual andConceptual Guide. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.Wells, A. (2008). Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression. New York: GuilfordPress.http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disordershttp://gad.about.com/od/symptoms/a/dsmiv.htmhttp://www.medicinenet.com/anxiety/page2.htm

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