Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is categorised in axis I of the DCM-5, GAD is an anxiety type disorder, with a lifetime prevalence of 5% (National Health Service [NHS] 2018). Characteristics of GAD include uncontrollable worry and faulty somatic experiences, with a diagnosis given for symptoms persisting six months, or more (Brown & Tung, 2018; NHS, 2018).
GAD can be explained by dysfunctional neurochemistry with first-line treatment being pharmacotherapy (Cvjetkovic-Bosnjack et al., 2015). In GAD, the amygdala and locus coeruleus (LC) of the corticolimbic system stimulate the hypothalamus, activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). When activated, corticotrophin-releasing hormone is released which activates the anterior pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotrophic hormone. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone travels to the adrenal gland which releases cortisol into the bloodstream, invoking stress. Cortisol travels back to the anterior pituitary gland providing a negative feedback system (Tsigos & Chrousos, 2002).
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an effective treatment for GAD.