Generalized Anxiety Disorder Research Paper

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Anxiety is an emotion to which most people will attest having experienced. That feeling of worry and uneasiness about an upcoming event is a feeling almost everyone can relate to. In fact, despite how negative it may be to experience it, anxiety is a very useful mechanism that helps people prepare for dangerous situations. But what happens when that feeling becomes an issue for the person who experiences it, or even the people around them? When it no longer becomes something a person experiences here and there, but rather a constant obstacle they are forced to attempt to overcome on a day-to-day basis? In cases like this, the person may be suffering from what is known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This paper will provide a brief analysis …show more content…
Studies, however, have shown that people with GAD are often significantly affected by both their environment and their genetics (Woodman, 1997, p.2). For environmental impacts, for example, GAD is significantly more prevalent in people who experienced a traumatic event in their life or were bullied, especially if either of these things occurred at a young age (Gliatto, 2000, p.2). Studies have also found that people who have lived through many important events in life are more likely to suffer from the disorder, as they are more worried that another impactful event could happen at any moment (Gliatto, p.1). As for genetics, studies found that GAD, along with panic disorder, was very likely to be transferred between family members (Woodman, …show more content…
Although Freud did mention “free-floating anxiety” in his early works, GAD was not recognized as a disorder of its own until the DSM-III, where what was previously classified as anxiety neurosis in the DSM-II was split into panic disorder and GAD (Woodman, 1997, p.1). Since then, GAD has consistently been the least researched of the anxiety disorders because of its frequent comorbidity with other psychological or medical conditions. Nonetheless, it is known that people with GAD have symptoms of excessive physiologic arousal, distorted cognitive processes, and poor coping strategies. Statistics show that between 4% - 6.6% of the population has GAD at some point in their life, with certain studies showing that women are up to twice as likely to suffer from the disorder. GAD can be caused by both a person’s environment, as well as their genetics, and is usually treated with cognitive or pharmacologic therapy. All in

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