Unit 12: Abnormal Psychology Psychological Disorders Mrs. Marsh
generalized anxiety disorder – an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety that is not associated with a particular object, situation, or event but seems to be a constant feature of a person’s day-to-day existence.
Uncontrollable anxiety much of the time. Feel restless and jumpy much of the time. Difficulty concentrating. Difficulty sleeping. Fatigue. Irritable. Tense (sometimes so much their mind goes blank). Often have no time in their lives when they have not felt tense or anxious. Efforts to control anxiety are unsuccessful.
Worries are not focused on any one particular thing and are usually unrealistic. Example: Ben is a successful businessman who worries about going bankrupt even though his business is thriving. He also worries his college-age son will develop a life- threatening disease even though he is in good health.
A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance). B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry. C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months). Note: Only one item is required in children. (1) restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge (2) being easily fatigued (3) difficulty concentrating or mind going blank (4) irritability (5) muscle tension (6) sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
D. The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of an Axis I disorder, e.g., the anxiety or worry is not about having a Panic Attack (as in Panic Disorder), being embarrassed in public (as in Social Phobia), being contaminated (as in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), being away from home or close relatives (as in Separation Anxiety Disorder), gaining weight (as in Anorexia Nervosa), having multiple physical complaints (as in Somatization Disorder), or having a serious illness (as in Hypochondriasis), and the anxiety and worry do not occur exclusively during Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. E. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. F. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism) and does not occur exclusively during a Mood Disorder, a Psychotic Disorder, or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Biological Perspective Chemical abnormalities. Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective Distorted thought processes. Example: If something goes wrong, Jill magnifies the problem. Then she shifts her attention to other worries she has. Because she is constantly worrying, Jill becomes less efficient in her daily tasks which causes her to become even more worried. Jill’s anxiety spirals as worry piles on worry. Socio-cultural Perspective Life stressors.
Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder. Affects 6% of the population. Two-thirds of diagnosed clients are female. People are often also diagnosed with depression.
Medical Many people seek out medical care to alleviate physical symptoms (i.e., stomach or intestinal distress). Physicians who recognize the real condition behind the physical symptoms provide appropriate medications. Antianxiety drugs. Antidepressants.
Counseling Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps clients learn how to change their irrational thought processes to break the cycle of negative thoughts and worries. Recognize anxious thoughts. Seek more rational alternatives to worrying. Put alternatives into action. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may also provide relaxation exercises.
Depending on the severity of anxiety, most people who take medication and engage in therapy see improvements.
What are some reasons why women might suffer from this disorder more than men?