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Chapter 7, Anxiety and Stress Disorders- GAD

"free-floating" anxiety

term used to describe the type of anxiety present in GAD, because the individual is plagued by excessive anxiety under most circumstances and about anything

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

characterized by excessive anxiety under most circumstances and worry about practically anything

Symptoms of GAD

feeling restless, "keyed up," or on edge; fatigue; trouble concentrating; muscle tension; difficulty sleeping. In order for a diagnosis to be warranted, symptoms must have been present for at least 6 months

Incidence and Prevalence of GAD in Western Society

Incidence= 3% Prevalence= 6%; signs and symptoms usually appear in childhood or adolescence; women diagnosed more often than men by a 2:1 ratio; ~25% of people with GAD are actually getting tx

Sociocultural explanation for development of GAD

*People in social conditions that are truly dangerous are most likely to develop GAD (ex: poverty, dangerous neighborhoods, job opportunities)

Race & Prevalence of GAD

in any given year, 6% of Af. Ams. and 3.1% whites suffer from GAD; highest rates seen among Af. Am. women (6.6%)

Realistic anxiety (psychodynamic perspective)

Anxiety children experience when they face actual danger (ex: getting lost, hearing about bad things on the news)

Neurotic anxiety (psychodynamic perspective)

Anxiety developed by children when they are PREVENTED (by a parents, etc.) from expressing id impulses (ex: jumping on the bed, streaking, playing with their food).

Moral anxiety (psychodynamic perspective)

Anxiety developed by children when they are PUNISHED for expressing id impulses (something "morally" wrong; goes a step further than neurotic anxiety)

Psychodynamic explanation for development of GAD

One can use ego defense mechanisms to control the 3 forms of anxiety, but it is when they do not work, or when the anxiety is too high that GAD develops.

Ego Defense Mechanisms (6)

1) Regression 2) Denial 3) Rationalization 4) Projection 5) Sublimation 6) Displacement

Psychodynamic Tx Techniques for GAD


Has psychodynamic tx been found helpful for GAD?

Tx shown to be of MODEST help; short-term psychodynamic therapy may be beneficial in some cases, as opposed to long lasting psychoanalytic.

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