What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things that others would not normally find worrisome. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their anxiety and stay calm. They may feel anxious most days and often experience physical symptoms such as headaches, tension, sweating, irritability, hot flashes, lightheadedness, or nausea.
GAD affects 6.8 million American adults, or 3.1% of the population. It is equally common among men and women and usually begins in childhood or adolescence. Although it can occur at any age, GAD is most common in middle-age adults. Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe and can interfere with daily activities such as work, school, or relationships.
What causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
There is no single cause of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with GAD may have a family history of anxiety disorders, depression, or other mental health conditions. Additionally, certain life events or experiences (such as trauma or stress) may increase the risk of developing GAD.
Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If you are experiencing symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it is important to seek professional help. GAD can be effectively treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be particularly effective in treating GAD. CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thinking patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety and distress. Medications that are commonly used to treat GAD include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. The goal of treatment is to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and help you live a normal, productive life.
Symptoms for Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder can vary from person to person. Some people may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many. The most common symptoms include:
– Excessive worry or anxiety about everyday things
– Difficulty controlling worry or anxiety
– Feelings of restlessness, irritability, or edginess
– Muscle tension
– Nausea or upset stomach
– Trouble sleeping or fatigue
– Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank