Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
: A condition characterized by 6 months or more of chronic, exaggerated worry and tension that is unfounded or much more severe than the normal anxiety most people experience. People with GAD usually expect the worst. They worry excessively about money, health, family, or work, even when there are no signs of trouble. They are unable to relax and often suffer from insomnia. Sometimes the source of the worry is hard to pinpoint. Simply the thought of getting through the day provokes anxiety. Many people with GAD also have physical symptoms, such as fatigue, trembling, muscle tension, headaches, irritability or hot flashes. People with GAD may feel lightheaded or out of breath. They also may feel nauseated or have to go to the bathroom frequently. Nearly 3% of the adult US population age 18 to 54 has GAD during the course of a given year. GAD most often strikes in childhood or adolescence, but can also begin in adulthood. It affects women more often than men, may run in families, and may also grow worse with stress. GAD often coexists with depression, substance abuse, and other anxiety disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome, often accompanies GAD. Treatment for GAD includes medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
1) A type of psychiatric care in which several patients meet with one or more therapists at the same time. The patients form a support group for each other as well as receiving expert care and advice. The group therapy model is particularly appropriate for psychiatric illnesses that are support-intensive, such as anxiety disorders, but is not well suited for treatment of some other psychiatric disorders.
2) A type of psychoanalysis in which patients analyze each other with the assistance of one or more psychotherapists, as in an "encounter group."
: the psychological process in humans and animals in which there is a decrease in psychological response and behavioral response to a stimulus after repeated exposure to that stimulus over a duration of time.
: The belief and fear of serious illness which lasts for six months, beyond and despite medical reassurance. Hypochondriacs were once viewed unsympathetically as comical figures in the way Molière depicted them in his classic (1673) play "Le Malade Imaginaire" (The Imaginary Invalid). Hypochondriasis is now generally recognized to be a psychiatric disorder. This disorder is characterized by a preoccupation with body functions and by the interpretation of normal body sensations such as sweating and minor abnormalities such as aches as major problems of medical importance. Hypochondriasis usually begins in the teen-age years and young adulthood. Its onset is sometimes associated with an experience in which someone close, often a loved one, becomes seriously ill or dies.
: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. Individuals vary normally in their need for, and their satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.