General Anxiety Disorders and Treatments Thereof
Blake C Blanchard
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
One of the most common disorders in our society today is generalized anxiety disorder. I am going to dive in to the methods of treatment and thoroughly discuss the various ways this disorder is handled. I experience anxiety when it comes to being in large bodies of water and also when I see spiders. Treatment options for anxiety disorders range from herbal remedies to prescribed medication. There are so many treatment options that I had no idea were even a possibility. The treatments I am going to talk about and describe in depth are ones that I researched and were shown ...view middle of the document...
About 5% of people in the United States are affected by this disorder at some point in their life. These people who are affected, they are more likely to have cardiovascular problems and be at a greater risk for heart attack. Finally, of these 5%, women are twice as likely to have the disorder as men (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2011).
Multiple treatment options are offered for people with GAD. Every psychologist’s goal is to find the treatment option that best suits the patient and will help them more in the long run. Treatments for this disorder comprise of cognitive behavioral therapy, pregabalin (a prescribed drug), antidepressants, and other psychological treatments.
I would first like to explore the drug pregabalin, because many people see medication as an answer to everyone’s problems. I personally do not see it this way, but I have enjoyed researching the success and effects of this drug. Pregabalin is a novel analogue of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma amino butyric acid (Boschen, 2011). This drug is being tested and used by adults to counteract their GAD symptoms. This drug has proven to be successful in older adults, who are the main focus of the study and drug. The analysis of pregabalin for the treatment of general anxiety disorder “provides further evidence that pregabalin is an effective pharmacological treatment option” (Boschen, 2011). Reading more in to the effects of this drug, the effect sizes are small to moderate. There are also different levels of symptoms and they can be reduced at different rates depending on how the person responds and what their actual GAD symptoms are.
Another treatment I have seen being advertised for these symptoms are antidepressants. There are two different kinds of antidepressants used for GAD, and those are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and dual serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). The way this medicine works is by acting on neurotransmitters involved in different regions of the brain. They affect mood, anxiety, and arousal (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2011). Popular medications that are prescribed by doctors all over include Prozac, Cymbalta, and Zoloft. But with every medication comes side effects, and the effects include sexual problems, weight gain, and insomnia (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2011). One such study found that adolescents who received a combination treatment, that is with cognitive behavioral therapy and drugs, was the most successful. Randomized patients were to receive sertraline, CBT, sertraline and CBT, or placebo for 12 weeks (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, 2009). It was concluded that 81% of the patients that underwent the combination therapy were able to greatly reduce their symptoms (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, 2009). It has been shown that CBT in schools can greatly reduce childhood anxiety attacks. Sixty-one children, aged 7 to 11 years, were randomized to receive group CBT for children, group CBT for children...