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Anxiety, The Overlooked Disease Essay

1221 words - 5 pages

Feeling anxious is common for everybody, especially when faced with an important life event, but it is when someone has that anxious feeling for long periods of time for unwarranted reasons, that it can be determined that they have an anxiety disorder (Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 2). Anxiety will never appear on it’s own, it is usually paired with depression, this is why Patricia Farrell refers to anxiety and depression as the “ugly twins” (Farrell 71). In 2008, it was determined that anxiety was the “most common mental health problem in women, and are second only to substance use disorders in men”( Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 2). There is a growing need to better understand anxiety, so ...view middle of the document...

Sufferers of PTSD will adapt their behaviors to avoid all memories, places, and people that even remotely relates to the traumatic event (Foa, Keane, Friedman, and Cohen 1). Sufferers experience very visual and disorganized flashbacks, making the subject “unsure about the details of what happened or about the order of the event.”(Simos and Hofmann 161). A common way for these flashbacks to invade the subjects life is through nightmares (Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 12), these nightmares lead to a lack of sleep which can lead the subject to become irritable and on edge constantly (Simos and Hofmann 162). Much like depression, PTSD sufferers also lose interest in activities and become “detached” from others (Simos and Hofmann 162), which is a point that Farrell made in stating that depression and anxiety are usually interconnected (Farrell 71).
While it seems contradictory, the most effective form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is trauma-focused, this means they “focus on the patients memories of their traumatic events and the personal meanings” (Simos and Hofmann 163). These treatments are intended to be short term, but it depends on the progress of the patient to determine how extensive and the length of receiving treatment (Foa, Keane, Friedman, and Cohen 208).There are several different forms of trauma-focused therapy: exposure therapy (EX), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and prolonged exposure(PE) (Foa, Keane, Friedman, and Cohen 208), choosing one of these forms of therapy depends mostly on the patient and the physician preference. The benefit of having these different forms of therapy is when a patient does not show significant improvement in one method, their treatment can be switched to another form (Foa, Keane, Friedman, and Cohen 208). The reason that traumatic-focused therapy is so highly regarded and the first method of treatment is that close to seventy percent of PTSD treatment patients who receive these forms of treatment “no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD” (Simos and Hofmann 163), making it the most effective form of PTSD therapy. To reduce the anxiety symptoms these therapies are paired with the common anxiety medications; antidepressants are the preferred method, but if they are not effective selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSIR) are the next choice( Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 23-27).
PTSD is one of the most studied anxiety disorders, while GAD remains one of the least understudied and understood anxiety disorder (Koerner 44). GAD is described as having a “difficulty in controlling worry”, with their worries lasting for a long period of time over several different happenings( Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 13). Those with GAD usually have a feeling that things both in the present and future, are going to go wrong, this worry makes the subject unable to relax( Rector, Bourdeau and Kitchen 13). This on...

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