General Anxiety Disorder, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

INTRODUCTION

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a disorder that affects an individual’s mood and the compulsion to worry.  The disorder can interfere with the person’s ability to sleep and ability to cope with normal life functions.  Symptoms as such include both emotional and behavioural problems.  This problem is a fairly common occurrence and roughly 5% of all people will be diagnosed with this disorder in their lifetime.  This illness often develops early in life, often with people in their early 20’s.  (Craighead, W.E. 2008).

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS

The common symptoms and early signs of GAD may include such items as:  Feeling on edge or restlessness, fatigue, difficulty in focusing or concentrating, irritability and muscle tension.  The illness is also associated with specific phobias like fear of confinement, height or other situations that may invoke panic situations.  Risk factors of GAD are normally associated with that of a family history where there is stress and physical or emotional trauma. One association has been made with that of smoking and stress / anxiety. Smoking is said to increase the risk factor by that of X5.  Major depression is strongly correlated with that of psychiatric illness and this has been associated with both alcohol and substance abuse.  (Fricchione, G.2004).

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OPTIONS

There are normally a number of different medical professionals that participate in the diagnosis procedure. These normally include the GP, specialist consultants, licensed mental health therapists.  This normally involved an intensive medical examination and a number of interviews.  Questionnaire surveys are often used in order to determine the levels of anxiety. Treatment options may include both medication and specialist forms of psychotherapy.  This includes cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.  Medications include such items as benzodiazepine anxiolytics, buspirone and anti-depressants.  The anxiolytics are normally short term solutions and are often compromised by having a short event profile. Anti-depressants like paroxetine and serotonin-norepinephrine are considered to have more lasting results.  The psychosocial therapy is still undergoing more clinical tests to determine the precise established use of treatment in GAD. (Gorman, J.M. 2002). Psaychotherapy has proved to be useful for treatment with anxiety in autism.  Autism is classified as a serious mental disorder and is widely attributed to be a genetic disorder autism is primarily a result of behavioural factors.  The onset of this disease starts at an infant’s age of two and half years.

CORRELATION WITH STRESS

The psychological symptoms of stress include that of mood swings, quick temper, easily agitated, the inability to relax, sense of isolation, bouts of depression, feeling of sadness etc. In a situation where you experience any of these conditions for more than a week, it is important to see your doctor. The doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist. This is not a stigma but the importance to recognise that you need professional help in order to determine ways in order to cope with these emotional factors.  This does not always resort to a course of action involving treatment with drugs but may embrace much needed lifestyle changes. It has been accepted that most types of psychological stress disorders are associated with emotional and physiological disorders. One of the most recognisable symptoms is that of sleep disorder i.e. sleeps apnea, delayed sleep phase syndrome and over sleeping. This constant exposure of stress can also cause mental conditions that may result in compulsive obsessive behaviour and fear. In certain young adults this can lead towards substance abuse, excessive drinking, smoking etc. These paths result in destroying both self-esteem and confidence and may result in severe personality disorders. (Life Positive.com, 2011)

References

Fricchione, G. (2004). Generalized Anxiety Disorder. N Engl J Med 2004; 351, 675-682.

Gorman, J. (2002). Treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Journal of clinical psychiatry, Vol 63 (8), 17-23.

Life Positive.com. (2011, 11 24). Spiritual and Psychological Stress. Retrieved from Life Positive.com: http://www.lifepositive.com/mind/psychology/stress/psychological-stress.asp

Edward Craighead, D. J. (2008). Psychopathology: History, Diagnosis, and Empirical Foundations. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley.

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