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Treatment Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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The article I chose to write about is entitled “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Emotion Regulation Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder With and Without Co-Occurring Depression.” The article starts off by explaining what GAD is. GAD is also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is a burdensome condition that causes stress, nervousness, and in some cases, co-occurring depression. Anxiety is very difficult to treat and in this research study the Psychologists are trying to figure out if they can treat GAD with emotion regulation therapy. ERT (short for Emotion Regulation Therapy), is a type of psychotherapy that is born out of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tradition. ERT combines elements of cognitive, acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches. To sum this up, ERT emphasizes the awareness of emotions. In the article researchers found that, “Generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder are associated with significant role impairment and poor life quality satisfaction.

Emotion Regulation Therapy (ERT), whose framework is drawn from basic and translational affect sciences, demonstrates superior improvement on clinician rated and self-reported anxiety and depression, satisfaction with life, worrying and ruminating, and in self-perceived ability to manage emotions with mindfulness and perspective taking, relative to patients receiving delayed treatment” (Mennin, et al., 2018). What this means is that the objective of their research was to produce a gain in treatment by using Emotion Regulation Therapy. There were 134 participants that suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and had co-occurring depression that volunteered. There were twenty weekly sessions that were sixty minutes long. All in all, the clients being tested showed great improvement when they received ERT.

As someone that deals with anxiety in certain events, I found this research to be very impressive. I like how the article spoke about Anxiety being a disorder, and a dangerous one to say the least. Many people look at anxiety as if it is something that everyone gets, and this can be true to some extent, but some people have to deal with it more than others. In some cases it is severe, while others are just simple fear to do something. I like the fact that this research specifically reached out to people that not only deal with GAD, but co-occurring depression as well. Depression is definitely not something that mixes well with anxiety so this research was definitely useful.

The one critique I had with this article is that some people deal with a disorder more than others. But at the same time many people were tested to verify that it was not just luck that people scored below the threshold score. In my opinion, ERT is definitely a way to help people that suffer with anxiety. Something that I found interesting is that there were no medicines prescribed during the twenty week period which shows the strict improvement on simple therapy. This amused me because as important as therapy is, I always thought for this disorder, some sort of medicine should be prescribed. Not only did clients improve in terms of decreasing their anxiety, but also decreasing the amount of depression they went through during this therapy. Emotion regulation therapy goes through behaviors and how someone dealing with anxiety and depression can describe what they are going through almost like reverse psychology. By talking about what they are feeling, they could reverse their fears and depression. Anxiety and depression in my opinion are two of the worst mixtures someone can deal with especially when it comes to disorders. The psychologist in this experiment are heroic for finding that ART helps people reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and so much more.

Our textbook, Psychology in Action, Huffman and Dowdell (2015) explains word for word what anxiety disorders are and how sever they can be. It states “ Sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experience fear and worries that are not focused on any one specific threat, which is why it’s referred to as generalized. Their anxiety also is chronic, uncontrollable, and lasts at least six months” (Huffman & Dowdell, 2015, p 450). In reference to connection, The book says how severe and chronic this disorder can be. It also states that it lasts at least six months. Something that was astonishing to me is that the ERT method decreased generalized anxiety and depression is just twenty weeks. Another thing I read is that anxiety disorders can actually lead to panic disorders which is why it is so important to decrease the amount of anxiety in a person’s life. The thing that is so common about anxiety is that it is so generalized that you can get critical uncontrollable anxiety from just sitting in a dark room. The book also describes how anxiety is so much more than just breaking a sweat in a job interview. Facing episode after episode of anxiety is not an ideal life anybody would set out to endure, but because of this therapy psychologist proved there is a way to decrease the levels. Anxiety not only leads to depression, but it can lead to many things such as insomnia, bipolar disorder, increase levels of mania, etc.

Another thing the book states about depression is that “Biological factors appear to play a significant role in both depressive disorders and bipolar disorders. Recent research suggests that structural brain changes may contribute to these mood disorders” (Huffman & Dowdell, 2015, p 454). This goes to show that depression can actually be a biological factor and brain changes can lead and contribute to depression. I found this in relation to the article because it brings up how depression can occur from anxiety. Although anxiety may be something you develop over time, depression can be biological and these two disorders combined are very strong. A great way to help decrease the levels of anxiety and depression as the research showed is Emotion Regulation Therapy.

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