Individual counseling with adults struggling with anxiety and depression is a mainstay of our practice and accounts for approximately a quarter of our work in a given week. Most adults we see individually are struggling with some form of anxiety or depression resulting from a change in life whether at work, in physical health, or in the family.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
The Worrier - Be Vigilant!
Core Diagnostic Criteria
- Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance, finances, relationships, children).
- The person finds the worry difficult to control.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months).
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
Map to the GAD Worldview
View of Self: I am responsible to see trouble coming so I can avoid chaos or hurt, including hurt or hardship to those I love.
View of Others: They are either vulnerable and need my help, or are potentially unpredictable or hurtful.
View of Life: Life can be precarious, even dangerous. Things can easily go out of control.
Self Directives: Therefore, I must think ahead and see problems before they arise. I’m responsible. I must be good and controlled, keeping myself disciplined to be alert for problems. Resting and trusting that I can take life as it comes might be irresponsible. Don’t do it.
Distress manifests as: worry, trouble initiating sleep or maintaining sleep, orienting toward things unsettled, fatigue, in high stress one has trouble with concentration. Elusive happiness. Feeling alone with emotional burdens.
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