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Positive Psychology With Positive Outcomes Essay

1819 words - 8 pages

With today's society, it is difficult to keep up with the fast pace and avoid stress induced by the things surrounding us. Mental health has become an area of concern for a lot of Americans and problems with it are becoming more common in both children and adults. Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental disorders (Westra 7). Approximately 40 million adults are affected by anxiety and most individuals with anxiety disorders often have other mental health problems, most commonly depression (Facts & Statistics). Anxiety comes from the everyday stresses of work, school, family, relationships and all other aspects of society. Medication is a solution and does have very positive effects on anxiety, but what are the natural forms of treatment? How can cognitive abilities be trained to heal the flaws of someone's brain? Positive psychology is a tool that can be quite effective in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. GAD is the most general form of anxiety and affects about 3.1 percent of the United States population (Facts & Statistics). Treatments targeting Generalized Anxiety Disorder are greatly benefited and strengthened by the infusion of positive psychology, which acts a catalyst in the processes of these treatments.
The definition of anxiety and Generalized Anxiety Disorder varies. GAD is a subcategory of anxiety, which is a very broad term. Anxiety begins with a fear of the unknown as a baby and concludes with death (Levitt 1). Just as happiness, sadness, and anger, anxiety is an emotion (Freeman et al 5). As Freeman, Daniel and Jason Freeman explain, anxiety is “the apprehensive anticipation of a future danger or misfortune accompanied by a feeling of dysphoria or somatic feelings of tension” (11). According to Levitt, many theorists believe that the term “anxiety” should concern only fear stemming from a source unknown to the affected individual (8). Anxiety disorders are moderately heritable, but almost completely environmental (Freeman et el 38). Someone's surroundings very much affect their feelings and sources of stress.
There are many disorders within the category of anxiety, but the most common form is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, while still possessing the traits mentioned above, has much more specificity to it. GAD is defined by Zeidner, Moshe, and Gerald Matthews as an intense “free floating” anxiety which is not tied to any specific threat, event, situation, or circumstance (10). Patients diagnosed with the condition feel as if their anxiety is uncontrollable and they are unable to cope with it. GAD and its symptoms have the ability to completely take over someone's life and the way they handle everything, from taking the trash out to communicating with others. It causes significant problems with accomplishing and dealing with things in everyday life (11). There is no cure for the disorder, but there are plenty of ways to regulate and minimize symptoms, whether it be through...

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