Generalized Anxiety Disorder Essay

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Case Analysis: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Bryan Wood Abnormal Psychology Professor Powell April 14, 2015 Bryan Wood Mr. Powell PSY 322 April 14, 2015 Case Analysis: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) “During a panic attack, the first thing you want to do is get out of the situation that is causing it. However, since most professors find it disrespectful to leave during class, I had to sit for an hour and half in this agonizing state…It was as if I had terminal cancer that could not be cured.” (Gregg, 2015). This account, told through the eyes of Stacy Gregg, a once anxious college student, personifies the unrelenting and paralyzing symptoms that can come along with generalized anxiety disorder (also known…show more content…
This data implies that GAD definitely has a biological factor to it, however it is also clear that onset of the disorder can be contributed to stressful life experiences, relationships, and poverty. For example, a recent Princeton study revealed that mothers in poverty have a greater risk of developing GAD (Tucker, 2012). While GAD does have biological and environmental factors and the exact cause of the disorder is unknown, it still revolves around a common factor (anxiety) and, with the proper treatment, anxiety can be managed. Before discussing treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder it is necessary to have a concrete grasp on the exact symptoms associated with the disorder as well as the courses it may take. The DSM IV categorizes GAD as an, “Excessive anxiety about a number of events or activities, occurring more days than not, for at least 6 months.” (Jess Rowney, 2015) As with Stacy, GAD can often co-occur with panic attack disorder (as well as other anxiety disorders) and includes symptoms of excessive and irrational worry (Staff, 2015). However, GAD is still a distinct disorder. For example, while panic attack disorder is typically attributed to worry about worrying, GAD is attributed to stressful life experiences. The actual severity of said stressful experience and the anxiety it warrants can seem arbitrary to the person with disorder. According to a 2011 Pfizer study, measuring anxiety
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