Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is characterized by excessive worry and anxiety about a number of events and activities, when the person finds it difficult to control the worry. The anxiety and worry are usually associated with restlessness, feeling keyed up, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension or sleep disturbance.
In addition to worrying, individuals with GAD often perceive worry as impossible to control and harmful. At the same time, however, they may view worry process as important for preparing for the future and for the unforeseen circumstances. The problem is that in any case, excessive worry negatively affects their ability to concentrate, make decisions and solve problems.
Another set of thoughts that is characteristic to people with GAD is their difficulty tolerating the uncertainty, which leads to their continuous exhausting attempts to try and (over)plan for the future.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice for this disorder. In treatment, the patient's thinking patterns are carefully examined and addressed. Beliefs that lead to excessive worry, as well as beliefs about the process of worry are re-evaluated. A great deal of time is devoted to increasing the tolerance for ambiguous situations. An emphasis is put on problem solving, as opposed to unproductive worry.
To learn more about various aspects of anxiety, check out recent posts on our blog.