Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): What Is It?
Those who suffer from generalised anxiety disorder are plagued by feelings of anxiety and fear about everyday life, making it difficult for them to carry out their day-to-day routines. It is a common ailment that affects over 6.8 million adults and children each year in the United States alone. Diagnosed with this condition, women are twice as likely to be women. Find out more about the symptoms and causes of anxiety in women.
Many people with GAD are unable to break the cycle of worry, even though they know that the level of anxiety they experience is unwarranted in the given situation. Physical symptoms such as headaches, exhaustion, and sleeplessness have been reported. In more serious cases, it can prevent a person from doing simple things like getting out of the house, and it can have a negative impact on their relationships with others.
People in their twenties and thirties are more likely to suffer from the symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder than those in their fifties and sixties.
As stated by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, these symptoms could include:
- Fears or worries that are persistent and intense.
- The inability to deal with uncertainty about future events.
- Feeling like your life is on the verge of impending destruction
- Anxious thoughts
- Preparation to the nth degree
- The fear of making a mistake
- Excessive perspiration and hyperventilation
- a feeling of exhaustion and exhaustion
- Difficulty staying focused
- Disturbance in one’s sleep or ability to relax
OCD, panic disorder, PTSD and social anxiety disorder are all included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as conditions with the same symptoms of excessive and uncontrollable worry as generalised anxiety. An experienced and licenced mental health professional is essential in determining which of these disorders is affecting you and how best to treat it.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes
The exact cause of generalised anxiety disorder is still unknown, as is the case with many other mental health conditions. A number of factors, however, raise the risk of contracting this disease. People who have a family history of generalised anxiety disorder are more likely to develop the disorder themselves, according to research. Having a parent with GAD increases a child’s risk of developing the disorder as well, suggesting that there may be a link between GAD and anxiety disorders in the family.
Also, neuroticism, which is characterised by feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and negativity, has been found to be linked to anxiety disorders. Experts believe that people with a nervous or pessimistic personality are more likely to develop generalised anxiety disorder because of the link between these two factors.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be exacerbated by a number of other factors, including the following: Having a chronic illness is also a contributing factor, as are traumatic life experiences and the use of addictive substances.
For example, an article published in the Psychiatric Clinics of North America Journal suggests that the symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders may be caused by a misalignment between brain regions that control emotional and cognitive functions. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may be more common in people with brain chemistry and structure differences. As MRI scans of people with anxiety disorders show, serotonin (the brain chemical responsible for promoting happiness and other positive emotions) and other brain chemicals are out of balance in those with anxiety disorders.
Early detection and intervention, as well as a strong social support system, can generally mitigate these risk factors.
Anxiety Disorder: Living with Generalized Anxiety
It’s more important than ever to look into the prevalence of generalised anxiety disorder and the social factors that may be contributing to it in this current era of global insecurity and an unstable political climate
The news is full of headlines that are sure to make you anxious, whether they’re about the economy, epidemics, natural disasters, wars, or political upheaval. You may also be worried about your social life, your health, or your job security at the same time. The stresses of modern life can feel insurmountable to those who suffer from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
More than half of American teenagers and young adults report experiencing physical or emotional distress due to the current political climate, according to a poll conducted by the youth poll site MyVoice. Depression, anxiety, and fear are all symptoms of a wide range of emotional issues that affect the majority of young people, including insomnia, difficulty concentrating and overeating. To deal with today’s social, economic, and political issues while providing support and protection to those who suffer from anxiety disorders is now a challenge. The steady rise in the number of people suffering from GAD can be curbed most effectively in this manner.
Recognizing and Treating Anxiety and Panic Disorder
Therapists use a variety of methods to determine if a patient has generalised anxiety disorder.
Talkspace offers a free general anxiety test that you can take as a starting point.
The GAD-7 is one of the most commonly used by primary care providers, licenced therapists, and psychiatrists. Anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, and panic disorder, can all be diagnosed and treated using this test. The test has a sensitivity of 70-90 percent and a specificity of 80-90 percent, according to research.
Anxiety is more severe if your GAD-7 score is higher. Taking the test online as a preliminary screening (for personal use, not as a diagnosis) before seeing a therapist or psychiatrist will help you get an accurate diagnosis and the treatment you need.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) classifies the following symptoms as possible signs of a mental disorder:
Anxiety attacks can occur as a result of worrying excessively about a wide range of things. Overwhelmed by fear and apprehension that lasts more than six months, and in which you worry more often than not.
- Anxiety that is difficult to manage
Concern is difficult to manage and can jump from one subject to the next without warning.
- Symptoms that manifest themselves in the body
Worry is accompanied by a number of physical and mental symptoms, including:
Insomnia or irritability
- Exhausted to the point of exhaustion; prone to it.
- Just as if you’re incapable of maintaining concentration or focusing on anything.
- Irritation, but not necessarily in a way that is obvious to others.
- Muscle aches or soreness
- Inability to sleep, difficulty sleeping, or difficulty falling asleep are all examples of sleep problems.
Seeking help as soon as you suspect you have anxiety is critical; the sooner you get help, the sooner you can start feeling better. For those who are unsure of their own diagnosis, this uncertainty can only add to their anxiety.
Options for Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
The severity of a person’s symptoms, as well as the presence of other health conditions, affects the treatment options available to that person with generalised personality disorder. It’s possible that a patient needs a mix of medication and behavioural therapy, for example. Anxiety can be alleviated with the use of natural remedies.
Getting help from a therapist is the best way to deal with generalised anxiety disorder symptoms. There are different types of therapy to help with generalized anxiety disorder. Mental health professionals frequently suggest cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), because it has been shown to be both safe and effective. People with generalised anxiety disorder can also benefit from it, according to studies. The use of techniques such as mindfulness and commitment-based therapy has also been found to be beneficial.
Medications can also be prescribed by a medical professional to help manage the signs and symptoms of GAD. Patients who seek treatment from a psychiatrist in person or online may be prescribed antidepressants or antianxiety medications such as escitalopram, duloxetine, venlafaxine (Effexor XR), and paroxetine (Cymbalta, Lexapro, and others) (Paxil, Pexeva).
Generalized anxiety disorder may necessitate some lifestyle changes for those who suffer from the disorder. Stress can be alleviated and symptoms reduced with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and regular meditation. It is also possible to manage this condition by cutting back on stress-inducing activities, keeping a journal to identify anxiety triggers, and keeping a healthy sleep schedule of at least eight hours.
The vast majority of the things we obsessively fear will never happen. Anxiety is a natural part of daily life, but excessive anxiety and worry may indicate the presence of generalised anxiety disorder, and it is critical to seek treatment early on in order to lead a healthy and productive life.
Find out if you suffer from anxiety by taking our anxiety test and learning more about anxiety treatment options.