What Is Generalised Anxiety Disorder ?

What Is Generalised Anxiety Disorder


Generalised Anxiety Disorder is commonly referred to as GAD. Nearly everyone feels anxious or worried every now and then. Particularly in certain situations, such as making a public speech, performing on stage, going for an interview or sitting for exams. With GAD though, this is a condition whereby, a person worries about nearly everything is their life most of the time.

People with GAD have feelings of anxiety and are worried to such a high level, that it can interfere with any area of their life - home/family, work, financial, and health both physical and emotional. Even lesser everyday matters, for example, cleaning the house or tidying the yard, can become the persons focal point of anxiety and lead to uncontrollable feelings of worry that something dreadful will happen.

What are some of the sign and symptoms of GAD?

In general, a person may have GAD if for six months or more, on the vast majority of days, they have excessive worrying that is making it very difficult for them to carry out everyday activities such as -

socialising with their family and friends
coping at/with their work
studying
finding it almost impossible to calm down and relax when they are feeling anxious

They will probably have three or more of the following -

feeling tired
lack of concentration and focus
irratibility
muscle aches and tension eg sore back, clenching teeth/jaws
have problems getting to or staying asleep
headaches
misuse of alcohol or drugs

Who can it affect?

There are more women than men that suffer from GAD. It can also happen at any stage of life and it is found in every age group - children and all adults. Circumstances and life events will always be stressful at various times. Worry is a part of most peoples lives on occasion. However, it is the build up of all this stress and worry over time, that often people are not aware that they have GAD. Besides, they probably are not even aware that it exists! They simply put the way that they are feeling, down to that of being "normal". For them that is what these feelings have become.

What are some causes of GAD?

Major life stressors - moving house, having a new baby, losing a hard earned job, a marriage/relationship break down, etc
Traumatic experiences that are carried from childhood (or any other age for that matter) that have not been dealt with
Personality traits - for example - being oversensitive or a perfectionist

and treatments.....

The best advise is to go to your medical professional. They will assess your situation and decide on the best course of action for you. Some common treatments are -

a form of relaxation therapy
assessing if you have a "hidden" trigger in a particular situation
breathing techniques
muscle relaxation techniques
other natural stress reduction measures including, reviewing what you eat and drink
antidepressants or another form of medication may be given

Final thoughts on Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Remember that you are not alone with this disorder and that you do not need to suffer in silence with it. You are not going crazy and we all require help from time to time! Once you have sought and been given any necessary medical professional assistance, your life will be on the up again. Many techniques, such as practising relaxation and letting go, are a wonderful way to wind down and de-stress. Generalised Anxiety Disorder does not have to be a permanent fixture in your life. It can be treated.

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