A review on the burden and potential solutions of generalized anxiety disorder
Jordan, Timothy M.
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Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic, disabling, and prevalent disorder that is characterized by excessive worry, high anxiety symptoms, and tension. While the understanding of GAD has developed greatly in the past decade, much of the underlying mechanisms and pathology are still unknown. Due to a poor understanding of GAD and a high rate of comorbidity with other disorders, GAD is often misdiagnosed and mistreated. GAD is treated with psychotherapy, typically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and pharmacotherapy, typically benzodiazepines and antidepressants. However, the treatment response is often inefficient, greatly varied and not well understood in many patients. As patients suffering from GAD are frequent hospital and primary care users, GAD causes a substantial economic burden on both the patient and society. In order to alleviate the burden caused by GAD, much research is being performed to more efficiently diagnose and treat the disorder. Potentially the amendment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, with the fifth addition (DSM-V), might improve the diagnostic criteria and outcome of GAD. As mechanisms behind the pathology of GAD are discovered such as the contrast avoidance model, a better method for treating GAD may be applied. The goal of this review is to discuss the large burden caused by GAD and how it may be resolved in the future.
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