Mental disorder, two simple words that can stir up a storm of emotions. Habitually mistaken by general society as “deranged” or “unstable”, the words mental disorder, often, tend to have a negative cognition associated with them. This should not be the case. The misunderstanding that mental disorder is automatically equivalent of that to being psychotic and erratic leaves many individuals feeling isolated, and distressed to share their helplessness due to fear of social stigma. Further public education is required to eradicate this unfortunate social stigma. So what categorically is a mental disorder? Although it can range from minor to severe impairment, and include a vast variety of conditions, mental disorders can generally be defined as: a mental or behavioral pattern that causes distress or disability and which is not developmentally or socially normative (Raskin,2012). Standardly, to diagnose a mental disorder the International Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders (ICD), published by the World Health Organization, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, are used (Bolton,2008). This essay will focus on General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). First the essay will discuss what GAD is and how it is diagnosed. The essay will then explore the differences of GAD between the general male and female populations, subsequently, look into brain activity and hormones, as well as lightly touch on other causes of GAD. Finally, an explanation of the gender differences of GAD will be discussed form a biopsychological standpoint.
The DSM-IV-TR defines General Anxiety Disorder, also known as chronic anxiety neurosis, in shorter terms, as “chronic ‘free-floating anxiety’ ” (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). What does this mean? Simply put: endless worrying. Not worrying like your average Joe that is concerned about being late to work, worried to the point of irrationality. The worrisome nature is, excessive and uncontrollable, quite often of everyday small things, most people may simply disregard as a problem to begin with. Sufferers from GAD will often anticipate calamities and become disproportionately concerned with matters such as health, money, family, relationships and work. Though the extremity of GAD can vary from individual to individual, the excessive amount of worrying can often interfere, and potentially impair, simple day to day activities. The overwhelming fear, of potential failure or anticipated disaster, will frequently hold back individuals in completing desired tasks or in achieving their specific needs. When diagnosing General Anxiety Disorder doctors look for:
A. 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).
B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
C. The anxiety and worry...