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Psychology (550)
46-228 (47)
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Lecture 6

Psychology 46-228 Lecture 6: Notes on GAD and OCD

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Department
Psychology
Course
46-228
Professor
Scoboria
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 6 on GAD and OCD Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)  Characterized by chronic worrying and "free-floating anxiety"  Endless worry over nuerous minor events and anxious expectations  Often keyed up, irritable, tense, and easily fatigued  Report a large number of physical complaints, have trouble concentrating, and often have difficulty getting to sleep Causes of GAD  Biological o Higher prevalence in families o Higher concordance in identical twins o High muscle tension (Q1)  Psychological (Q2 and 3) o Selectively and unconsciously focus attention on sources of threat (Q3) o Intense activity in left, but not right hemisphere (verbalization) o Low production of images maintains low affect o Restricted affect precludes emotional meaningful processing o Avoid emotions unconsciously but also avoid solutions o Lack of sensitivity to which threats are important and which are not important Treatment of GAD  Promote emotional focus on sources of threat  Relaxation to fight tension  Confront cognitive bias Role of acceptance of "ruminative style" (You are someone who worries a lot…)   Affect awareness and regulation skills Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  Involves recurrent obsessions or compulsions that are serious enough to adversely affect a person's life Obsessions (Q5)  Unwanted, disturbing, often irrational thoughts, feelings, or images that people cannot get out of their minds  Usually involve frightening images or aggressive urges  Attempts at suppressing them results in increased thoughts  Ego-Dystonic  the thoughts are unwanted and out of one's control  Meaningful  the thoughts indicate something about the person (often morally)  Most common obsessions: o Fear of contacting dirt, germs, or of touching infected people or objects o Disgust over body waste or secretions o Undue concern that a job has not been done adequately o Fear of committing a crime or hurting someone o Fear of shouting obscenities or insults o Fear of thinking antireligious or sexual thoughts Compulsions (Q9)  Repetitive, nearly irresistible acts that temporarily neutralize obsessions or relieve the anxiety they cause
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