Generalized anxiety disorder is a common anxiety problem, affecting close to 3 – 4 % of the population, getting the daily life into a scenario of fear, worry, and anxiety. The victim continues to excessively think of a solution out of the situation, the person thinks there is no way out of the problem, and becomes depressed about life. Generalized anxiety disorder is found not to involve or cause people to avoid conditions and has no elements of panic attack. It largely revolves around thinking and thinking, which gives no room for constructive ideas. At times, thoughts are over-ridden by anxiety, worry, dread, loss of interest and energy. This makes an individual have irrational feelings, though in the normal world these feelings are real. One has no desire to need more or do much in life – no “zest” in life.
In individuals who suffer from this condition, fear and worry can be very strong, so much that in case a loved one is a few minutes late, he starts fearing for the worst, thinking of dreadful things like accident, feelings of fear and anxiety sets in, generating the vicious cycle of anxiety . Some of the patients of generalized anxiety disorder tend to have fluctuations in mood from time to time, while others may have “good days” interchanging with “bad days”
Generalized anxiety disorder is usually featured with frustrations, irritability, headaches, trembling, twitching, and the lack of concentration. Some of the physical conditions are disturbed sleep, panic, social phobia – high sensitivity on self-consciousness, and fear of not being a success in life
1 .0 Introduction
This is a condition featured by excessive, over anxiety and worry about the daily occurrences with no definite reasons for the worry. The individual diagnosed with this particular condition are always pessimistic about life, thinking of disaster all the times and cannot help stop worrying about such things as health, money,health,work,family,or school. The victim’s worry is usually over-board and blown out of proportion for the exact situation, making their daily lives full of fear, worry, and dread. These ultimately become the individual’s thinking, disrupting his or her seldom duties at work, school, and relationships amongst other things.
2.0 The disorder in its historical context
Anxiety disorders is a term used to generalize many forms of abnormal and pathological anxiety and fear, this was realized by psychiatrists at the end of the 19 century. These are classified into two forms: Continuous and episodic symptoms, in the recent survey 18 percent of Americans may be affected by these forms of disorders.
3.0 Current research as to the cause of the illness
It is not known exactly what causes GAD, though a number of factors have been mentioned as the possible causes, these include genetical factors, brain chemistry, and the general environmental stresses suggested contributing to its development: These factors have discussed below:
Genetics: According to some research, family lean- age plays a role in the possibility or likelihood of an individual to develop GAD hence it is hereditary. Brain chemistry: This condition has also been highly associated with unusual levels of some specific neurotransmitters in the brain, these vital and special chemical messengers meant to transmit information from the one nerve cell to another. In the event that neurotransmitters are not properly and chemically balanced, messages cannot be gotten through to the brain orderly, hence changes how the brain may react in specific moments, culminating in excess anxiety. Environmental factors: Due to the daily chores undertaken by people, one is posed to suffer from trauma and stress; these may be because of an abuse, loss of a loved one, change of place of work, schools, divorce including other factors leading to GAD. This is in most cases made worse during the use of addictive substances for instance alcohol, caffeine, bhang and the subsequent withdrawal from such. About, 4 million grown citizens of the United States suffer from GAD yearly, this is said to begin in the adolescence, though can as well start in adulthood, and is more common in women than men are.
If any diagnosis does not reveal any physical ailment, one may be referred to a psychiatrist who has the expertise to diagnose and treat mental illness like this one(GAD).Usually its treatment involves a combination of the use of medicine and cognitive- behavioral therapy. Medication: There are drugs available over the counter for the treatment of GAD, especially those suffering from anxiety, the benzodiazepines are the drugs used to treat this condition in a short-term basis, are also called “tranquilizers”, in that they leave the patient more relaxed and calm, these drugs mainly work by reducing the physical signs of GAD including restlessness and muscle ache. Some of the most available benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium, and Librium amongst others. Also available are antidepressants, for instance Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor, these may take sometimes before working but they are recommended for a long-term treatment of GAD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This treatment is geared towards helping reduce distorted thinking by positively looking at worries, the patients are taught to recognize and change their patterns of thought and behaviors which make them to develop anxious feelings.
Gestalt therapy, is another technique in the psychotherapy that involves or based on philosophy of phenomenology and existentialism – it advocate for everyone to understand our environment and the occurrences associated with them, this helps in one to understand himself or herself fully. This is associated to the saying that, “no man is Island,” and hence no man can understand himself without understanding the actions around them at the anytime – everything is interrelated. Interpersonal therapy, this focuses on improving ones relationship for instance communication as well as improving the support relationship of the patient of depression or anxiety. If one suffering from anxiety is able to relate well with his or her immediate family, it could be another way of averting incidences of violence or conflicts that lead to depression.
Others may also include techniques of relaxation – for instance biofeedback, deep breathing; these are found to reduce and control muscle tension, which leads to GAD. Though the over dependency on benzodiazepines may pose some complication of the treatment, the side effects of such drugs vary from the drug itself and the person consuming them. Some of the known side effects are weight gain, sexual complications, and sleepiness.
Though the medical complications like anxiety disorders like GAD cannot be easily be prevented, though some actions can be taken to control or reduce the symptoms associated with it: Firstly, the patient may be able to be involved in stress management practices like yoga, or medication. Secondly, the victims should stop or reduce the use of products of caffeine, for instance coffee, cola, chocolate and others. Besides, there is a need for daily exercise and eating healthy balanced diet. Patients are also advised to take properly prescribed medicine and avoid over the counter products and herbs some of which contain chemicals increasing anxiety. Lastly, one also needs to seek immediate counseling and support in the events after a trauma or very disturbing situations.
6. 0 Cross-cultural issues pertaining Anxiety Disorder
In most cases, the physical injuries or risks due to an occurrence of a disaster may be similar in differing cultural settings, the psychological responses to such disasters, the loss and the associated stressors tend to varied amongst cultures. Some of possible reactions to crises and disasters are PTSD, anxiety and depression. A study carried out on the impacts of Mexican earthquake in 1985, concluded that 32 percent of the victims displayed PTSD, 19 percent had the generalized anxiety and 13 percent had suffered depression. In another study of the effects of China’s Tangshan earthquake of 1976, suggested that the after- effects of the earthquake should not be considered only on the physical damage caused but also the extent of psychological shock caused on the victims.
In situations of grief, cultural beliefs play both a resourceful role destructive roles in providing the much-needed support to the victims. In cross-cultural perspective people usually believe and certainly understand life, death, what they feel inwardly, what necessitates those feelings, the ultimate cause of those feelings, what they perceive as the implications of those feelings, the expression of those feelings, reasons for those feelings, and the techniques involved in getting the solutions; which may not be directly be expressed publicly. Some of the historical studies have revealed that people in the western countries mourn differently.
In a cross-cultural perspective, studies have shown that there is an infinite diversity in people’s physical reactions to death, how they mourn the loss, and how they internalize the loss. In fact, mourning is seen as process – dependent, as an adaptive response to certain situation a rising from loss that does not depend on an individual, culture, or historical period. Americans from reports are observed to think more about religious feelings, grief, and death than do some of the ASEAN countries like the Japanese. In Japan, ancestral worship is taken as a ritual, supported by complicated belief where the living communicates with the dead through a bond; this is also seen in the modern west.
The basic mental health benefits of any ritual are closely link to the relational occurrences of the process of ritual; hence, it acts in encouraging the free expression of several human emotions. Studies from social network theory also conclude that religious ceremonies and ritual functions effectively help in mitigating anxiety and other disturbing emotional conditions. Most of the religious rites have an effect; because they help, the individuals affected to release and express emotions through attachment to others important people in their lives.
In deed, rituals are mentioned to effective in supporting people change from a maladaptive to another condition featured with adaptive style of mourning. A study of mourning behaviors amongst the Americans and the Israeli kibbutz, it is revealed that in a small sized family in Israeli kibbutz mourning becomes an affair of the wider family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. In America, funerals only forcefully bring people together to show an image of social support.
Everyone responds to situations and stimuli by either conforming to the immediate environment or by changing themselves, historically, the main reasons of for counseling and psychotherapy are to increase the degree of conformity to the culture of most dominant group. Hence, in most cases any cross- culture counselors or the therapist have to face some choices. He or she has the responsibility of preparing their clients for the dynamic challenges in life, the increasing an individuals in solving problems of anxiety needs to involve choices on one’s nature of his or her relationship, reference groups , lastly his identity, these should be in relation to one’s cultural or ethnic set-ups.The ability to generate perceptions of concern and ability in clients has been one of the ways therapists from differing cultures and background use in the treatment of anxiety. The therapists are said to be involved in a catalytic process making their clients to use their capabilities. Non-western cultures rely in most cases on the induction of changed state of mind or consciousness in changing such catalytic results than do the west.
7.0 A Christian worldview
There are many schools of thought in the definition of anxiety and depression, professional counselors, psychiatrists, medical doctors, psychologists, pastors and religious leaders would have divergent views on the issue of generalized anxiety disorder. It is vital to determine episodes when depression is link to physical or emotional problems, in cases of death, loss of a job and dreams and other disappointments amongst others can lead to circumstantial factor reactions by the affected individuals. According to Psalm 147:3. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds”
However, if a depression occurs with no change in the victim’s normal personal life, it suggested by professionals that there would be a need to examine mental health of such people. Some of the episodes of depression may lead to changes in body’s hormonal functions, and other illnesses. In many situations if the patients are treated early for their physical problems there is high probability of getting back to normal state of personality and would not need any further treatments. Other patients may find it difficult in maintaining personal or general relationships issues, which could easily draw them back to the state of depression – this can may be mild or severe.
Many scores of professionals, especially the pastors have come out to help people in discovering the so-called wellspring of relief that is often found by using biblical principles to our daily lives. This is said to be a very reliable and successful way of understanding the ways of treating the patients of depression mainly to those who respond well to clinical treatment. In some cases the associated depression cause very severe symptoms causing physical ill health such as pain, headache, digestive problems, and a complicate immune system. It becomes very complicate when it is difficult to diagnose if depression has caused a physical sickness or a physical illness is the cause of depression. In the recent setting, there exist several Christian clinics and other medical practitioners who specialize in co-joining and applying spiritual principles and other contemporary treatments in taking care of disorder patients. In most cases it is preferred in advanced levels of depressive disorders to hospitalize or offer outpatient services to the patients in initial stages, this stabilizes the person for subsequent monitoring over certain period of time.
There have been follow-up studies of Gad, though the current ones have revealed that GAD is very stable dignosis.Besides, there is comorbidity during the treatment. Studies also show that GAD is chronic in treatment – seeking people; there is also difficulty in differentiating between anxiety and disorders due to anxiety. The known diagnostic period of GAD has been a topic of concern since the early 1980, though there is still no information on its course and outcome, mainly in the elderly and children.
GAD is a severe and disabling disorder, which is stable over along period of time and easily distinguishable from other types of anxiety disorders. There are a number of scientific questions or gaps not yet researched on regarding this disease, and hence future research is required to curb the severity of this disorder over the future time, besides its effective treatment. Anxiety disorders affects millions of people world – wide, making the victims feel uncertain, confused, disoriented and dreaded. GAD is in some cases seen alongside other physical or mental sicknesses, including alcohol or hard-drugs abuse, these make the patient to cover – up the signs of anxiety thereby making them worse.Infact.in most cases such like associated illness will be treated before the patient can successfully go through the treatment and respond well. In conclusion, counselors are meant to some knowledge of the cultures of the people they work for; this should be part of their ability and expertise. This is supposed to give the counselor with a point of departure. For an effective provision of adequate and the right cross-cultural disorder mental health services, it is very cardinal that psychologists and other such like disaster mental experts to develop a collaborative support system globally. The coming up with a common system for international disaster mental disorder with a emphasis on cross-cultural factors is vital, coupled with plans for response depending on needs, cultures and desires of divergent countries. The process of consultation and bringing in all stakeholders such as planners and providers in the participating countries and the subsequent development of within the country disaster response plans linked with strong educational component is vital in helping curb disaster mental health associated problems and responses.
Sometimes a brief attacks brought about by traumatic event like stress – like reporting to take up a new position at a different place is one of the real – may be rational or irrational – state of mind or fear that stays for at least six months, these in most cases may turn severe if not treated in time.
Summarily, the generalized anxiety disorder is condition that is common world-wide and may be very severe if not mild in other situations.Ironically, it seems most people ignore, this condition while is treatable; to completely eradicate this ill-health all the professionals involved in the process of treatment need to join hands both financially