Understanding General Anxiety Disorder And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Nina Haber Understanding General Anxiety Disorder and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Nina Haber Hunter College, The City University of New York As many as 4% of the US population have symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in any given year, and ~6% at some time during their lives (Comer 2004.) This disorder is a personality disorder that literally takes over someone’s life. It interferes with social, occupational, and other areas of important daily functioning. In order to meet the criteria for being diagnosed with GAD, a person must have had continuous anxiety and worry that lasts for at least 6 months. It is very difficult for the individual to control the anxiety and the worry that they are experiencing. This…show more content…
When it is found in children, which is rare, it is usually anxiety and worry about their competence or how they are preforming in their lives. For each individual, the worry and anxiety may shift from one concern to another. There are many different interpretations of this disorder based on different type of psychological theories. The different viewpoints include sociocultural perspective, psychodynamic perspective, humanistic perspective, cognitive perspective, and biological perspective, though the most influential in the treatment of GAD are the biological and cognitive perspectives. The cognitive perspective often describe psychological problems as dysfunctional ways of thinking. There are many cognitive symptoms but one major one includes excessive worry which is a key characteristic of GAD. One assumption is the maladaptive assumption. One psychologist, Albert Ellis, discussed that many people are guided by irrational beliefs which leads them to act in irrational ways. He called them basically irrational assumptions, and included that many individuals with generalized anxiety disorder have these irrational assumptions. One includes “It is awful and catastrophic when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.” So when a person with these irrational assumptions are faced with situations that are stressful they interpret them as dangerous and they tend to worry excessively for no reason. Another psychologist, Aaron Back, discuss
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