Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Treatments


Here’s some interesting research I did on Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you think you may be suffering from any type of anxiety based disorder you might want to read this.
Generalized anxiety disorder (often abbreviate GAD) “is characterized by multiple, excessive fears and worries about a range of issues including inclement weather, natural disasters, illness, risky situations, failure, and the future.” (Keeton, Kolos, walkup, 2009, p172). Sleeping, eating, and concentration patterns are often disrupted as a result of the disorder. In some cases, the anxiety causes people to eat more, but there are many instances where a person will not eat due to the illness and end up losing an unhealthy amount of weight. It is not uncommon to see a person’s grades or performance at work drop because of the concentration difficulties often associated with GAD. According to Keeton, Kolos, and Walkup (2009) many people with GAD seek out reassurance frequently and do not take any type of criticism well and as a result it often negatively affects peer relationships, as well as family functioning.
There are multiple treatments one can use if diagnosed with GAD. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are two of the top treatments many therapist use. Flouxetine and placebo are two of the most commonly used medications ,however, Keeton, Kolos, and Walkup did a study and found in a randomized controlled trial of fluoxetine, a fixed dose of 20 mg/day (n = 37) was superior to placebo (n = 37) after 12 weeks of experimentation (2009). Cognitive behavioral therapy proves to be very affective with GAD especially using the gradual exposure technique to the feared stimulus. for example, a person may be afraid of snakes, but after steadily being introduced to the feared stimulus (ex. begin by talking about it, then talk about it with pictures, then show a picture of a poisonous snake, then have a snake in the room as you talk about it) the anxiety gradually goes down. CBT does not work right away, and improvements are often not even seen until around the 10-16th session (2009). Both medication and the CBT are effective for treating GAD; however, it is most efficient to do the two treatments combined, if possible.


3 Responses to “Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Treatments”

  1. Hey Matt! I must say this is an interesting post. I think anxiety disorders are a lot more common than we think. I have never thought about it but I think I may have GAD! I am terrified of small spaces. I don’t like elevators, bathroom stalls, closets, boxes, tanning beds….you get the idea. I have always been scared of small spaces, I cannot remember ever being comfortable with small spaces. When I watch movies and the characters are in small spaces, I start freaking out. MY worst fear is to be buried alive. Weird huh? Maybe I should go to a few CBT sessions.
    Happy Blogging!!

  2. matidmore Says:

    This was a really great topic to post on. I know in college it stresses pretty much everyone out, and practically everyone says the suffer from it. I know that I can get freaked out about the little things, but usually only when I’m worried about something else. It would be interesting to see if there are any simple ways out there of dealing with it. I feel like when I graduate half of my anxiety will just leave. 🙂

  3. […] 18. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Treatment by Cook, Matt, blog […]

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