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361 - 11

by: Tricia Mae Fortuna

361 - 11 361

Tricia Mae Fortuna
GPA 3.49

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About this Document

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Specific Phobias
Abnormal Psychology
Class Notes
Differential, Diagnosis, Statistics, DSM-5, Criteria, symptoms, treatments
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tricia Mae Fortuna on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 361 at Towson University taught by DR. ERIN GIRIO-HERRERA in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Towson University.


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Date Created: 10/14/16
361 10/11/2016  What are some concerns/reasons we may not use “breathing and relaxation” as our go to approach? o Go to your happy place o Don’t push those feelings away  Differential Diagnosis: differentiate different diagnosis  Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Chronic Worry o Overview and defining features  Excessive uncontrollable anxious apprehension and worry about multiple areas of life (e.g., work, relationships, health)  Persists for 6 months or more  Physical symptoms (e.g., muscle tension, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, concentration difficulties, sleep disturbance) – need to have some of these prototypical symptoms  DSM-5 GAD Criteria: o Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not than not for at least 6 months about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance) o The individual finds it difficult to control the worry o The anxiety and worry are associated with at least 3 (or more) of the following symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months)  Only one item is required:  Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge  Being easily fatigued  Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank  Irritability  Muscle tension  Sleep disturbance o The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning o The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g. drug abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition and is not better explained by another mental disorder.  From American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical manual of mental disorders (5 Ed.) Washington, DC.  GAD Statistics o 3.1% of the general population per year; 5.7% lifetime o Females outnumber males approximately 2:1 o Onset is often acute, beginning in early adulthood o Very prevalent among the elderly o Tends to run in families o One of the most common anxiety disorders o Why is this the least treated anxiety disorder? – less sense of urgency  GAD Associated features o Persons with GAD have been called “autonomic distresses”  Less physiological response to stress than people with other anxiety disorders  Low high blood pressure, lower heart rate, etc.  Except? tension o Very sensitive to threat  Focus attention on sources of threat  Early stressful experiences:  Things are out of their control  The world is dangerous  “What if…”  Maybe they can’t cope  Thinking hard about upcoming problems (left frontal lobes)  Integrative Model of GAD 361   Treatment of GAD o Physiological interventions: CBT o Psychotherapy  Benzodiazapines – often prescribed  Anti-depressants o Accepting rather than avoidance of distressing thoughts o Meditation therapy o Combined treatments  Meds are equivalent to psychological treatments for short term  Psychological more effective in long-term  Specific Phobias: An Overview o Extreme avoidance of a specific object or situation o Persons will go to great lengths to avoid phobic objects o Most recognize that the fear and avoidance are unreasonable o Markedly interferes with functioning  DSM-5 Specific Phobias Criteria o Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation typically lasting for 6 months or more o The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety and is avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety o The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation, and to the sociocultural context o The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning o The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder.  From American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical manual of mental disorders (5 Ed.) Washington, DC.


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