New Delhi: From over-nurturing to extreme detachment, these are some of the negative methods used by people to cope with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), says a psychologist.
Worrying comes naturally to all of us, but it can be so obsessive that it may sabotage our social relationships, says Case Western Reserve psychologist Amy Przeworski.
Przeworski and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University observed that those undergoing therapy for GAD manifested their worries in different ways based on how they interact with other people, the Journal of Abnormal Psychology reports.
In two studies the researchers found four distinct interactive styles prominent among people with GAD - intrusive, cold, non-assertive and exploitable, according to a Penn statement.
Both studies supported the presence of these four interpersonal styles and their significant role in how people with GAD manifested their worrying.
"All individuals with these styles worried to the same extent and extreme, but manifested those worries in different ways," Przeworski said. Take the examples of two people with similar worries about someone`s health and safety.
One person may exhibit that worry through frequent intrusive expressions of concern for the other person. Think of the parent or spouse who calls every five minutes to get an update on what`s happening.
Another person may exhibit the worry by criticising the behaviours that the person believes to be careless or reckless.
"The worry may be similar, but the impact of the worry on their interpersonal relationships would be extremely different. This suggests that interpersonal problems and worry may be intertwined," Przeworski says.
She suggests that therapies to treat GAD should target both the worry and the related interpersonal problems. Most treatments for GAD rely on cognitive behavioural therapy, a treatment that is usually successful for about 60 per cent of people, a percentage considered successful in therapy.