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Generalized Anxiety Disorder Essay

2931 words - 12 pages

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common mental health problems in America on and off of college campuses. GAD affects approximately 6.8 million adults in the United States in any given year, with women being twice as likely as men to be affected by GAD. A diagnosis of GAD can be made when a patient has experienced intense feelings of anxiety more days than not over a six month period. Other symptoms include fatigue, digestion problems, sweating, rapid heartbeat, restlessness and even depression. The onset of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is most likely to occur between childhood and middle age and is most prevalent between the ages of 15 and 24. GAD is a chronic disorder that ...view middle of the document...

” Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by persistent, unwarranted, and unrealistic worry about everyday matters (“Adaa”). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “People who suffer from GAD experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern (“Adaa”).” Mostly, GAD sufferers anticipate disaster at all times and are excessively troubled by thoughts about money, health, family matters and work related or other various issues. The constant worrying that is associated with GAD generally occurs every day, possibly all day, to the point that it interferes with daily life including work, school and family, as well as causing disruptions to regular social activities and events.
Syndrome Epidemiology
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of different problems for at least six months, generally on a daily basis. In the article by Lizeretti and Extremera, the authors conclude that anxiety disorders can develop at any point in a person’s life, but the onset of GAD is most likely to occur between childhood and middle age. Most clinically diagnosed cases of GAD occur during the patient’s high school and college years, or between the ages of 15 and 24. (Lizeretti & Extremera, 2011)
Other symptoms, besides chronic every day worrying accompany GAD. Muscle tension and discomfort are two of the most common symptoms that coincide with the presence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Fatigue, restlessness and also difficulty sleeping are also common symptoms. Not only these symptoms, but also irritability and edginess are often experienced by GAD sufferers. Gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach aches and pains and diarrhea also afflict those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well.

Syndrome Treatment
Assessment of Syndrome Description
Social anxiety disorder remains under-recognized in primary care practice, with patients often receiving treatment only after the onset of complications, such as clinical depression or substance abuse disorders (Baez, 2005). No specific tests are run on patients who are believed to have GAD, but instead a comprehensive check is done to make sure that any symptoms the patient is experiencing are truly related to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In some cases, physicians use psychological questionnaires to help with the diagnosis process. Doctors may also execute a physical examination to look for potential underlying medical conditions that may be causing the patients’ anxiety. Commonly, patients complain mostly about feelings of anxiety and have a tendency to be startled easily and jumpy, restless, shaky, experience a pounding heartbeat, indigestion and cramps, feelings of lightheadedness and even exhaustion (Roemer et. al, 1995). Usually when a patient complains about having three or more of these symptoms and can explain in detail how often they occur and their...

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