Similar to GAD, is Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as it classified as an anxiety disorder (APA, 2000). While fear and worry are common to both GAD and PTSD. The fearful anticipation associated to PTSD is specific to the event or events that have caused the traumatic experience. The individual persistently relives the traumatic experience through recurring and intrusive thoughts, flashback or nightmares (Sadock & Sadock, 2007). Similar to GAD, individuals suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder will display avoidance symptoms, such as not thnking about the trauamtic event or events. They also experience intense symptoms of hyper arousal (trembling, sweating, irritability, increased heart rate, and disturbed sleep). These symptoms are also experienced in GAD, but are more pronounced in PTSD (Sadock & Sadock, 2007). Psychologically, they will experience emotions (fear, anger, anxiety, distress), common to both GAD and PTSD (Leahy & Holland, 2000; Sadock & Sadock, 2007).
The combination of having experienced a traumatic event or events, their self-talk (The victim/the worrier) and their avoidance will have reinforced certain core beliefs. For example, that the world is dangerous, and that extreme negative events will happen to them (Bourne, 2005; Leahy & Holland, 2000). The inability to cope with any given situation or that the world is dangerous. Self-talk such as “the worrier” and avoidance of feared stimuli. These are commonalities that both Gad and PTSD share (Bourne, 2005; Leahy & Holland, 2000).