Study of Life Events and Personality Dimensions in Generalized Anxiety Disorder VC05-VC09
Dr. A. Sri Sennath. J. Arul,
No.7A, VOC Street, Alagappan Nagar, Madurai – 625003, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Life events, recognized as stressors, due to their unanticipated nature, can cause psychiatric illness. Also there is some line of continuity between neurotic illness and antecedent personality traits.
Aim: To study generalized anxiety disorder in relation to Life events and personality dimensions.
Materials and Methods: Certain hypotheses were tested in two groups, namely 30 Generalized Anxiety Disorder patients (GAD) and 30 matched controls, by utilizing assessment tools. These include: GAD patients experience more undesirable Life events than normal; GAD patients with high level of anxiety experience more undesirable Life events; Neuroticism is related to the severity of anxiety; Extroverts experience more anxiety; Level of anxiety in females is higher; GAD patients with higher education level experience more anxiety, while those with lower education level somatize more. The group differences were examined using Chi-Square test, Student t-test and ANOVA. Pearson’s Correlation Co-efficient was used to find the correlation between anxiety and the undesirable Life events. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
Results: GAD patients experienced significantly more undesirable Life events than the matched controls. Patients with high level of anxiety experienced more undesirable Life events, with the coefficient of correlation being quite high. A significant association between Neuroticism scale and GAD was observed.
Conclusion: The study suggests a possible causative link between the undesirable Life events and GAD; and a significant association between Neuroticism dimension and the anxiety disorder. Role of environmental stressors and personality traits in treatment outcome among GAD patients awaits further, prospective studies.