Attentional Bias And Gad Essay

2161 words - 9 pages

Critically discuss the role of attentional bias in generalised anxiety disorder. Support your answer with relevant research.
This essay will discuss the role of attentional bias in generalised anxiety disorder. There have been many studies carried out concerning generalised anxiety disorder, many of which have attempted to explain the role that attentional bias. It is clear that their is a link between the two, and also that there is a link between relatives and the likelihood of developing the disorder. However, there are two main arguments into how attentional bias is in fact developed and how it affects individuals, resulting in the development of GAD. Biologically, some insist that attentional bias to threat, and in turn a likelihood of suffering from an anxiety disorder is passed down genetically from parent to child. From a very different perspective, some believe that this inheritance is in fact a social issue resulting from parental conditioning. This essay will first introduce general anxiety disorder, it will give an overview of it's history within the DSM and discuss the DSM's limitations regarding the disorder. Secondly, the causal theories of generalised anxiety disorder and relevant evidence for the theories will be examined. Next, the essay will introduce attentional bias and its components: facilitated engagement, impaired disengagement and avoidance. To continue, the essay will discuss the tests that have been used to measure attentional bias in generalised anxiety disorder, these tests will include the stroop test and the dot probe task. To give a deeper insight into the biological and social argument, the essay will then analyse findings from experiments carried out between parents and children. Finally, the essay will analyse the information found and come to a conclusion of the role of attentional bias in generalised anxiety disorder.
General Anxiety disorder is a disorder that affects a large number of individuals in the world, causing them to be excessively anxious in almost all circumstances and to worry about almost everything, (Turk and Mennin, 2011). Generalised anxiety disorder first appeared in the third edition of the DSM and has since undergone many revisions. The reasons behind these revisions were thought to have been due to its poor general concordance and the fear that it may have lacked diagnostic validity. (Andrews, Hobbs, Borkovec, Beesdo, Craske, Heimberg, Rapee, Ruscio, and Stanley 2010). The 5th edition of the DSM clarifies Generalised Anxiety Disorder as an individual having an excessive amount of worry almost every day for a period of 6 months or more. The worrying may result in symptoms such as impaired concentration, edginess, restlessness, tiring easily, irritability, insomnia and muscle aching. Some of these symptoms may be really severe and will affect the individual?s daily life. Although the DSM-5 has attempted to improve upon its reliability and inter-rater scores, it has also been highly...

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