Life Experiences of Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Comorbid with Emotional Disorders: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD in Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan. Iran

2 Assistance Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan. Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Children with Special Needs, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


Introduction: A deeper understanding of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) provides many clues to what causes anxiety disorders and what treatment is needed. The present study aimed to investigate the life experiences of patients with GAD comorbid with emotional disorders.
Methods: The present research was a qualitative one carried out based on the phenomenological approach. The participants in the study were 10 patients with GAD comorbid with emotional disorders who were selected using purposive sampling method based on data saturation. A semi-structured face-to-face interview was used to collect data. The texts of the interviews were analyzed by the phenomenological approach using Colaizzi’s seven-step method.
Results: The results of analysis of data derived from the interviews revealed four main themes and 13 subthemes including components of illness (worry, cognitive component, behavioral component, emotional component, physiological component), influential factors (sociocultural factors, psychological vulnerability, developmental history), consequences of illness (quality-of-life impairment, interpersonal problems), and treatment (self-care, expectations of treatment, limitations and barriers to treatment .(
Conclusion: The themes identified in this study by phenomenological method based on lived experiences of patients provided new information about the etiology, consequences, and treatment of this disorder.



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