If you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), you know yourself to be someone who constantly worries. For GAD to be diagnosed, it is likely you have been prone to excessive worry and anxiety, occurring most days for at least 6 months. Additional symptoms can include muscle tension, fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Cognitive therapy and relaxation therapy have shown to be only somewhat effective in treating worry and only slightly better than talk therapy (Borkovec and Costello, 1993). The metacognitive model (Wells, 1997) has proven more successful in the treatment of GAD and focuses specifically on counterproductive thought control strategies, erroneous beliefs, the uncontrollability of worry, negative beliefs about the danger of worrying and positive beliefs that support the over-reliance on worrying as a coping strategy.
Adjustment Disorder refers to the development of an emotional or behavioural symptom in response to an identifiable stressor occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor or stressors. People normally feel upset or anxious for some amount of time when they develop an illness, get divorced or experience other life-changing situations. However, when a person is struggling with an adjustment disorder, the severity or length of the reaction has gone beyond what is considered typical given the person's age, culture and history.
Acute Stress Disorder refers to exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation either by directly experiencing the traumatic event, witnessing the events as they occurred to someone else or learning that the events occurred to a close family member or close friend.
Many forms of psychotherapy are effective with stress and adjustment disorders as long as the treatment helps the person examine his/her thoughts, emotions and behaviours surrounding the stressful event.
Major Depressive Disorder refers to a depressed mood (sadness, feeling empty, hopeless) for at least 2 weeks. Additional symptoms can include a diminished interest in life, weight loss or gain, insomnia, agitation, extreme fatigue and feelings of worthlessness. Suicidal ideation is also common.
Dysthymia refers to a depressive mood, which is continuously present for at least 2 years.
Bereavement is typically the feeling of intense loss in response to losing a loved one. Although symptoms of sadness are understandable and considered appropriate at these times, the presence of a major depressive episode must be carefully considered if the sadness becomes debilitating.
The most common treatments for clinical depression involve a combination of medication and psychotherapy, focusing on the impact of negative inner dialogue. It is also useful to focus on the roots of emotional suffering, exploring "the self" and understanding relationship patterns.
Anti-depressant Dicontinuation Syndrome refers to a set of symptoms that occur after the abrupt cessation of antidepressant medication. Common symptoms include feelings of dread, cognitive and emotional difficulties and somatic symptoms that can include "electric shock" sensations, nausea and hyper-responsiveness to noises or lights.
Symptoms that follow termination of an antidepressant can often be managed by providing an explanation and reassurance. More severe symptoms should be treated symptomatically or the antidepressant restarted, in which case symptoms usually resolve rapidly. More cautious tapering can then follow.
Obessions are defined as unwanted and intrusive thoughts or urges that are persistent.Compulsions refer mostly to repetitive behaviours that an individual feels compelled to perform in response to an obsession.
The most effective treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is cognitive-behavoural therapy. Antidepressants are sometimes used in conjunction with therapy, altough medication alone is rarely effective in relieving the symptoms of OCD.
Problems Related to Family Upbringing includes parent-child relational problems, sibling relational problems, upbringing away from biological parents and child affected by parental relationship distress.
Family systems therapy is particularly useful when addressing the abovementioned problems. Family systems therapy suggests that an individual's behaviour is informed by and inseparable from the functioning of his or her family of origin. Family relationships, patterns, problem-solving patterns and generational influences are looked into during the course of therapy.