Nature of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Michael E. Portman

Over the last 10–15 years, generalized anxiety disorder – commonly referred to as GAD – has mystified both researchers and clinicians. GAD has been a topic of heated debate in the mental health field. It bears repeating that this disorder is a highly misunderstood (Kasper, 2004), commonly occurring, chronic, disabling, diagnostically independent, and severe condition. GAD, compared with other anxiety disorders, has also been understudied (Dugas, 2000). Once considered a mild disorder of the “worried well,” GAD has proven to be much more complex and elusive in nature (Rickels & Rynn, 2002; Sanderson & Andrews, 2002). The early paucity of research was due in part to multiple changes in diagnostic conceptualizations (Nutt, Argyropoulous, & Forshall, 2001; Pollock & Kuo, 2004), low interrater reliability (Barlow & Di Nardo, 1991; DiNardo, 1993), and imprecision in identifying target symptoms of the disorder (Rickels & Rynn, 2001). In other words, clinical recognition and research have...


Major Depressive Disorder Irritable Bowel Syndrome Anxiety Disorder Generalize Anxiety Disorder Personality Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cleveland Veterans AdministrationCase Western Reserve UniversityUSA

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