It is normal if you feel anxious and worried about things when you are stressed but being anxious and worried all the time without any particular reason is a big problem. Generalized anxiety disorder is basically characterized by worry which is persistent and uncontrollable. It is a common situation and there is no particular reason for the anxiety. The worry and anxiety start interfering with the day-to-day activities of your life and you start to feel anxious about your family, work, friends, and almost everything in almost every situation.
This disorder can develop both in childhood and adulthood. Generalized anxiety disorder has similar symptoms as that of obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other types of anxiety disorders but they are all different conditions. There is uncontrollable worry and it is diagnosed when you are having the symptoms for at least six months. You should also have at least three symptoms which are mention in our article. These symptoms differentiate normal worry which is there in particular situations.
Living with a generalized anxiety disorder is challenging for a person and it may occur with other mood disorders and anxiety disorders also.
Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders
Generalized anxiety disorder is usually affecting the way you think and feel. This can lead to physical symptoms and other symptoms:
Physical symptoms are:
- There is Fatigue
- You have trouble sleeping
- There are Muscle tensions or some muscle aches
- There is a feeling of Trembling or you may feel twitchy
- There is Nervousness or you may feel easily startled
- There may be Sweating
- You have Nausea, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome
- There may be Irritability
Some other symptoms are:
- There is Persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of situations and you may keep on thinking about their impact also.
- You keep on overthinking about the plans and solutions and may think of all their possible worst outcomes.
- You may perceive the situations threatening even when they are not threatening.
- There is Difficulty in handling the uncertainties
- There is a fear that you may make the wrong decisions.
- You are not able to let go of your worries.
- You are unable to relax and you feel restless all the time.
- You are having difficulties in concentration and think that your mind is going blank.
When we talk of teenagers and children there may be some different symptoms like:
- They may ask for approval.
- They may be overly punctual.
- They may redo their tasks because they may have not done it in a corrected way earlier.
- They may have frequent stomach issues or some other complaints regarding their bodies.
- They may avoid social situations or their school.
Causes Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Causes of GAD may include the following:
- There may be a family history of anxiety
- There may be long-term exposure to stressful situations that may be personal or regarding your family.
- They may be excessive use of tobacco or caffeine which may strike your anxiety or make it worse.
- There may be some childhood abuse.
Researchers have said that women are more prone to generalized anxiety disorder as compared to men.
Treatment Of Generalized Anxiety Disorders
The patients of generalized anxiety disorder are often referred to a psychologist and in extreme cases psychiatrists because they are the mental health professionals who are an expert in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The treatment which is used by them includes both the medication and the therapy in combination with each other. Therapy that is used is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In cognitive behavior therapy, they learn to change their thoughts, feelings, and behavior which leads to anxious feelings. They make the patient look at their worries as more realistic in nature.
In medications, some anti-anxiety medications are used and some anti-depressants may also be used. Anti-anxiety drugs are not given for a longer period of time because a person may become dependent on them. For long term treatment, antidepressants are used because they work quite well in GAD.
These medications can take a few weeks to start their effects and can also have some side effects like dry mouth and nausea. Antidepressants are effective in people who want to end their life or may have some suicidal thoughts. People are also asked to report any mood changes while taking these medications.
Lifestyle Changes To Ease GAD
There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to ease your living with generalized anxiety disorder:
- Start doing regular exercises or yoga and meditation.
- Have a good and plenty of sleep.
- Avoid caffeine as much as you can because it can increase or trigger anxiety.
- Talk about your thoughts and feelings to the person you trust like your parents, spouse, or friends.
- Stop taking alcohol because it can interfere with the medications you are taking for anxiety. Taking alcohol may make you feel good in the immediate moment but in long term may have a negative effect and make you depressed also.