- What is GAD?
GAD is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable, and often irrational worry about everyday things (e.g., health, money, death, relationships, or work or school performance). Individuals often experience a variety of symptoms including: restlessness; fatigue; difficulty concentrating; irritability; muscle tension; and sleep problems. For a diagnosis, symptoms must be present more days than not for at least 6 months and must cause significant distress or impairment in important areas of functioning.
- How can GAD be treated?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of treatment that has been proven to be very effective in treating GAD. The treatment involves the therapist helping the individual understand how thoughts and feelings influence behavior, helping the individual identify why his/her anxiety is maladaptive, teaching the individual adaptive coping strategies to manage feelings of upset, gradually helping the individual identify negative automatic thoughts, and then gradually helping the individual challenge and replace those negative thoughts. Elements of the therapy, therefore, focus around psychoeducation, problem-solving, general coping and relaxation skills, and thought restructuring techniques.