disorder-we-treat

Generalized Anxiety

Treatment at Our Center

What To Expect

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment (CBT)

Individuals will be engaged in an intensive outpatient program using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which includes exposure and response prevention (ERP). Our clinic also offers weekly outpatient therapy for individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). CBT and ERP are recommended for the treatment of GAD.

Demographics

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is estimated to affect 0.4 - 3.6% of the general population. Females are twice as likely as males to experience generalized anxiety disorder.
  • The DSM 5 indicates that the median age for individuals with GAD is 30 years, and it rarely occurs prior to adolescence.
  • A third of the risk for GAD is genetic.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

The key features of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about various domains, including work and school performance that the individual finds difficult to control. In addition, the individual experiences physical symptoms including restlessness of feeling keyed up or on edge, feeling fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance.

Diagnostic Criteria

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for 300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
  • The individual finds it difficult to control the worry
  • The anxiety and worry are associated with these symptoms - restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbance.
  • The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
  • The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition.
  • The disturbance is not better explained by another mental disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions.

  • Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted.
  • Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.

While the specific content of obsessions and compulsions varies among individuals, certain symptom dimensions are common in OCD, including those of cleaning (e.g. contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions), symmetry (e.g. symmetry obsessions and repeating, ordering, and counting obsessions), forbidden or taboo thoughts (e.g. aggressive, sexual or religious obsessions and related compulsions), and harm (e.g. fears of harm to oneself or others and related checking compulsions.) OCD can take a toll on the quality of life of the person affected by it, and it may consequently interfere with their daily activities in school, work, social activities and even personal relationships. The mean age for onset is 19.5 years, with 25% occurring by age 14, and in males 25% occurs by age 10. It is unusual for OCD to present after age 35. There are gender differences in the pattern of symptom dimensions (e.g., females are more likely to have symptoms in the cleaning dimension and males are more likely to have symptoms in the forbidden thoughts and symmetry dimensions).

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