Individuals with GAD generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) frequently put social relationships with family, friends, or coworkers at the top of their lists of worries, but the negative methods they use to cope — from over nurturing to extreme detachment — may be destructive.
Przeworski and colleagues at Penn State University observed that people in therapy for GAD manifested their worries in different ways based on how they interact with other people.
She suggests that therapies to treat GAD should target both the worry and the related interpersonal problems.
Most treatments for GAD rely on cognitive behavioral therapy, a treatment that is usually successful for about 60 percent of people, a percentage considered successful in therapy. However, one way to improve therapy for worriers may be to integrate techniques that target the interpersonal relationship problems.
The research was part of larger study supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.