Ideally, the clinical goal for individuals with a history of anxiety disorder is not only to remit from the disorder, but also to reach optimal well-being. This broader concept of recovery aligns with Keyes’ concept of complete mental health (CMH), including presence of happiness or life satisfaction, and social and psychological well-being, and absence of any past year mental illness including anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, substance dependence and suicidal ideation. This study’s aim was to identify factors associated with CMH in a population-based sample of Canadians with a previous diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (n = =2128), of whom 40% are currently in CMH. Data were from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health (response rate=68.9%). The World Health Organization version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WHOCIDI) scales were used to define lifetime and past-year GAD. Factors associated with complete mental health include female gender, older age, being married, reporting good to excellent physical health, being free of chronic insomnia, being able to manage household activities without difficulties, using religion or spirituality to cope, having a confidant, and never having had a major depressive disorder nor substance dependence. Results of this study suggest many with a history of anxiety disorders can achieve CMH and point to factors that appear to facilitate this process.
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