Complete mental health is an indicator of both good mental health and absence of mental illness; incomplete mental health, on the other hand, is related to increased burden of mental illness, poor functioning, and mortality.
A study seeking to identify the factors that contribute to complete mental health following a bout with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) highlight the necessity to investigate a wide range of variables including demographics, socioeconomic status, health and mental health conditions, health behaviors, marriage and social support, adverse childhood experiences, and coping strategies.
Factors contributing to recovery from GAD
The results of this investigation were positive as they demonstrate that more than half of the participants fully recovered from GAD and even showed complete mental health. More specifically, complete mental health was higher for married women and older participants, for those with a confidant, those in good to excellent physical health, and for individuals who turn to religion or spirituality to cope.
Conversely incomplete mental health was related to the presence of comorbidity with major depression, that is participants with both GAD and Major depressive disorder were less likely to achieve complete mental health. Similarly, respondents with poor physical health and/or disability, as well as insomnia had poor mental health outcome.
Esme Fuller-Thomson, Kandace Ryckman. (2020) Achieving complete mental health despite a history of generalized anxiety disorders: Findings from a large, nationally representative Canadian survey. Journal of Affective Disorders, ; DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.12.004