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Chapter 6

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

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P. 141-146 Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)  Can't stop worrying  anxiety disorder characterized by intense, uncontrollable, unfocused, chronic, and continuous worry that is distressing and unproductive accompanied by physical symptoms of tenseness, irritability, and restlessness  DSM-IV-TR  at least 6 months of ongoing excessive anxiety and worry; difficult to turn off or control the worry process  Most people worry for a time but can set the problem aside and go on with other tasks  Characterized by muscle tension, mental agitation, susceptibility to fatigue, some irritability, and difficulty sleeping (also lack of attention focus)  Adults: possible misfortune to their children, family health, job responsibilities, more minor things (ex. household chores or being on time for appointments)  Children: academic, athletic, or social performance  Elderly: focus on health, difficulty sleeping  GAD was found to be most common in people over 45 years old, least common in the youngest group (15-24) Causes  Individuals with GAD show less responsiveness on most physiological measures (ex. heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, and respiration rate) than those with other anxiety disorders  Physiological measure that distinguishes the anxious group  muscle tension  4 distinct cognitive characteristics of people with GAD (Michel Dugas and Robert Ladouceur) Intolerance of uncertainty  less tolerant of situations involving uncertainty than people with other anxiety disorders Erroneous beliefs about worry  effective in avoiding negative outcomes and promoting positive outcomes (beliefs that might maintain their worry) Poor problem orientation  tend to view problems as threats to be avoided rather than as challenges to be met Cognitive avoidance  avoiding all the negative affect associated with the threat (prevents person from facing the feared situation, thus adaptation never occurs Treatment  Both drugs and psyc
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