It is widely recognized that chronic anxiety plays a central role in a broad variety of psychological and psychiatric disorders. Yet, despite its significance, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)an official psychiatric diagnosis that is akin to chronic anxietyis one of the newest, least studied, and most misunderstood of the anxiety disorders. Bringing together leading researchers who discuss the nature and treatment of GAD, this is the first book to focus specifically on the topic. In addition, the volume examines the overlap of GAD and depressive disorders, presenting important new information on mixed-anxiety depression (MAD).
Providing a well-rounded approach, chapters in the first half of the volume address theoretical considerations while those in the second cover clinical issues. The book opens with a description of the general nature of anxiety and its relation to depression and stress that places GAD into the broad context of emotional disorders. As the primary characteristic of both chronic anxiety and GAD, the cognitive process of worry is discussed in detail. Remaining chapters describe the nature, etiology and treatment of the broad psychological construct of chronic anxiety and the specific psychiatric diagnosis of GAD. Biological and psychological factors are considered, as are issues of comorbidity.
Clinical chapters commence with a discussion of the diagnosis of GAD and its revisions for DSM-IV. Recognizing that many individuals complain of equal mixtures of low levels of anxiety and depressed mood, particularly in primary care settings, the DSM-IV Task Force is considering the inclusion of mixed anxiety-depression (MAD) as a possible category. One chapter provides an overview of ongoing conceptual and empirical work on this topic. Other topics include pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatments for GAD. Throughout, chapters are based on DSM-IV considerations.
Providing readers with both a fundamental understanding of the topic and a detailed examination of clinical issues, CHRONIC ANXIETY will be valued by researchers in the area of psychiatric and emotional disorders as well as by clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and general practitioners. The work also serves as a text for graduate courses on anxiety disorders, emotional disorders, psychopathology, and therapy.