This subject, as indicated in the first section of this book, is a somewhat controversial one as generalised anxiety disorder has only recently achieved a level of diagnostic acceptability in the medical profession. The doubts have been expressed particularly in primary care where most of these disorders are treated. What is undoubtedly true is that generalised anxiety however, it is formulated in diagnostic terms, is extremely common and the syndrome is probably the most common seen in clinical practice. It is closely accompanied by somatoform disorders in terms of frequency so these two disorders cover most of mental illness. Common diseases usually offer hundreds of remedies and these two disorders do not disappoint this expectation. The account below indicates a good degree of consensus over general strategies of management, but the detail is all important and it is likely that a set of combined treatments at different times will be needed for these common and persistent conditions.
Generalised anxiety disorder is a persistent, common and pervasive condition of unfocused worry and anxiety, twice as common in women than men, that is not restricted to a particular setting or event, although changes in circumstances may aggravate the symptoms. Like all anxiety disorders (see Part I) it has both psychological (restlessness, irritability, sleep disturbance, feelings of threat and nervous tension) and somatic or bodily feelings (palpitations, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth and sweating), the latter being recognised as part of the anxiety syndrome in generalised anxiety disorder but independent in the case of the somatoform disorders.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.