HealthDay News — For persons with a previous diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), factors associated with being in complete mental health (CMH) include female gender, older age, being married, and reporting good to excellent physical health, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Esme Fuller-Thomson, Ph.D., and Kandace Ryckman, from the University of Toronto, examined factors associated with CMH in a population-based sample of 2,128 Canadians with a previous diagnosis of GAD.

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The researchers found that 72 percent of those with a history of GAD were in remission from GAD. Forty percent of the sample with GAD were currently in CMH compared with 76 percent of individuals without any history of GAD. Female gender, older age, being married, reporting good to excellent physical health, being free from chronic insomnia, being able to manage household activities without difficulties, use of religion or spirituality as a coping mechanism, having a confidante, and never having had a major depressive disorder or substance dependence were factors associated with CMH.

“Embracing a complete mental health model in our understanding of remission and recovery from anxiety disorders requires a focus on interventions that can increase positive mental health (i.e., social and emotional well-being and positive functioning) in addition to addressing clinical symptoms of anxiety,” the authors write.

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