Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Anxiety is defined as a sense of apprehension or fear accompanied by physiological reactions. In those with general anxiety disorder (GAD), this sense of fear is typically excessive, uncontrollable, unexplained and irrational.

    As is the case with other disorders, there are biological and environmental factors that contribute to the onset of GAD. There is research that suggests there is a strong hereditary element to the tendency to get GAD1. In the brain, neurotransmitters that are out of balance can lead to anxiety. A traumatic event in someone’s life can also increase the likelihood of developing GAD or worsen GAD symptoms.

    Over 10 million Americans suffer from GAD every year. Although its onset is more common in adolescence, many adults also develop GAD and it is much more common in women than men3. Those who have suffered from GAD are unfortunately significantly more likely to get it again than someone who has not.

    The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for GAS is as follows2:

    A. Excessive anxiety occurring more-days-than-not for at least 6 months

    B. The anxiety is difficult to control

    C. Anxiety is associated with three or more of the following six symptoms

    1. restlessness
    2. easily fatigued
    3. difficulty concentrating
    4. irritability
    5. muscle tension
    6. sleep disturbance

    Insomnia is a common side effect of this disorder. (Image credit: Alyssa L. Miller)

    D. Focus of anxiety is not confined to features of other Axis I disorders

    E. The anxiety causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social and occupational functioning

    F. Disturbance is not due to effects of a substance

    The important aspect of GAD that distinguishes it from regular stress is that it is unquestionably out of proportion to the sufferer’s environment. A constant sense of fear and dread often will take over someone with GAD’s life if gone untreated to the point where it interferes with daily functions.

    Symptoms of GAD are very similar to regular stress, but are more intense and persistant. These symptoms include3:

    • excessive, ongoing worry
    • irritability
    • headaches
    • muscle tension
    • trouble sleeping



    1. Kenneth S. Kendler et al., (1992). Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Women A Population-Based Twin Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 49 (4), pp.267-272

    2. DSM-IV-TR

    3. BehaveNet (). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: http://behavenet.com/generalized-anxiety-disorder. [Last Accessed 5.12.2013].

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com May 24, 2024, 11:44 am ad1c9bdddf

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    Anxiety Among Children

    Provide a one page summary of the attached journal article. Include in your summary your thoughts about the article ex: what did you think about it? what did you learn? did it raise interesting questions for you? Source: Prevention of Anxiety Symptoms in Children: Results From a Universal School-Based Trial by Cecilia A

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Therapeutic Interventions

    Select a neurological, psychological, or neurodevelopmental disorder. Compare and contrast three therapeutic interventions used to treat this disorder. Compare measures of effectiveness, such as validity, efficacy, symptom and behavior management, and recidivism. One therapy should be cognitive in nature, one should be pharm

    GAD Vignette

    Joan is a 32 year old Japanese female who enters treatment for what she calls "anxiety attacks". She tells you that, "What if I have one of those awful attacks when I am at the store. What if it happens at a restaurant? Oh my gosh, what if I faint at my daughter's school. I know I will just die of embarrassment". She describes a

    GAD on Axis 2

    Do you think, given the chronic nature of GAD( Generalized Anxiety Disorder), should it actually be considered some form of Personality Disorder? Is there any argument as to why GAD should be considered an Axis II disorder rather than on Axis I?

    Disscusion about generalized anxiety disorder

    Surveys suggest that up to 4% of the U.S. population suffers from generalized anxiety disorder. How are anxiety disorders viewed by various psychological perspectives such as psychodynamic, biological, cognitive, and humanistic? With which perspective do you most agree? With which do you least agree? Explain your answers.