Environmentally derived General Anxiety Disorders are directly linked to repeated, poorly managed stressful encounters. The focus of this review is to demonstrate this link and display how commonly practiced stress management techniques can be utilized in the prevention and treatment of GAD.
An event that results in an undesireble outcome will create fear a another similar event if that outcome is not accepted and used as a motivational or developmental progressive tool. This is the concept behind the theory repeated exposures to a stressful situation that elicits a feeling of helplessness or dread to previously negative interactions will result in a general worry about similar circumstances or a general anxiety disorder. 1. Massachusetts General Hospital (2011) Generalized Anxiety Disorder, The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Retrieved From (http://www2.massgeneral.org/allpsych/anxiety/GAD.asp)2.Gerrig, R. & Zimbardo, P. (2009). An overview of psychology: It's past and present, your future. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, inc.
As you can obviously see, the two lists are identical. This is of course because all of these symptoms can be found in both suffers of chronic stress and anxiety disorders, specifically GAD. This illustrates a direct link between the two and suggests that they effect various parts of the subject is same manner. This supports the theory that effective treatment for one would produce equal results when utilized to treat the other. 1. American Institute of Stress (2011) American Institute of Stress, Retrieved From (http://www.stress.org/americas.htm?AIS=3b70080dccc8dabd8a722774e328e559)2. Massachusetts General Hospital (2011) Generalized Anxiety Disorder, The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Retrieved From (http://www2.massgeneral.org/allpsych/anxiety/GAD.asp)
There are obvious similarities in effective treatment methods. The primary focus is on managing the reaction to the stimulus by various coping strategies and creating a “plan of attack” so to speak, so that the situation can be managed when it is presented. We now have linked stress and GAD on three different levels; causes, effect, and resolution. Since GAD manifests as a result of a poorly managed encounter, ensuring that the encounter is managed in a healthy manner should be preventative of chronic worry surrounding the stimulus, thus lessoning the chance of a resulting anxiety disorder. 1. American Institute of Stress (2011) American Institute of Stress, Retrieved From (http://www.stress.org/americas.htm?AIS=3b70080dccc8dabd8a722774e328e559)2. Massachusetts General Hospital (2011) Generalized Anxiety Disorder, The Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, Retrieved From (http://www2.massgeneral.org/allpsych/anxiety/GAD.asp)
Admittedly, this is only a theoretical concept, but it is fairly projected given the evidence covered in this presentation and in the review paper it corresponds with. This would be the process we would hope to replicate in during research.
Donley P Au Agp Review Paper
Chronic Stress and GAD<br />A Look into Prevention and Treatment <br />
Generally Accepted Causes of GAD.<br />Specific factors can result in the acquisition of a generalized anxiety disorder. Certain types of trauma such as death, abuse, and major life changes can contribute to anxiety based disorders.1 This leads to a constant state of worry despite the absence of direct threat.2 Symptomatic behavior associated with anxiety disorders is more pronounced during time of stress. In essence, as a result of a negative interaction with a stimulus, a sense of dread is manifested surrounding repeat interaction or the effects the encounter will have on related aspects of the subjects life. <br />
Treatment Options for Chronic Stress and GAD<br />Chronic Stress<br />GAD<br />Relaxation and calming techniques are very effective relieving and managing stress. <br />Reevaluating situations and acceptance of impossible tasks remove unnecessary stress and worry. <br />Using the situation as a motivational factor(being stressed over writing a term paper becomes a challenge of personal achievement and excellence<br />Eliminating stimulants such as cigarettes, caffeine, and recreational drugs. <br />Proper preparation of stressful situations, emotional and physically can lesson the impact the situation has and the anxiety surrounding its occurrence.1<br />Some subjects can manage their GAD with simple relaxation techniques such as mediation and increased exercise. <br />Others requires cognitive behavioral therapy in order to overcome their constant anxiety. This includes: <br /><ul><li>Education
Learning and Implementing Cognitive, Behavioral, and Emotional Control Strategies. 2
Lifestyle changes(elimination of stimulants, prioritizing, preparation) 2</li></li></ul><li>Stress Cycle<br />As the graphic to the right displays, when a person has a negative experience to a stressing situation, and fails to adapt in a way that allows for recovery and growth, a feeling of helplessness and fear can hinder their ability to properly managed like situations. As you can imagine, repeated failure only compounds that stress. Soon the event is feared, even when it is not immediate or even eminent. <br />
STRESSFUL EVENT CYCLE INTERUPTED WITH TREATMENT<br />As this chart displays, when stress management techniques are implemented post incident, the path the subject takes can be greatly altered. <br />
Conclusion<br />The goal of this presentation was to create a visual link between GAD and chronic stress. From the slides presented, we can see that they share many of the same characteristics and the treatment of one can prevent the other. It is my desire that further research be considered. I believe we can greatly improve the quality of life of those who suffer from these ailments through education, preparation and practice.<br />