Worrying about hard times is natural. However, some people tend to be anxious and tense every day, even though the problem is little. If it lasts for over 6 months, there are chances that you may have developed Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Around 7 million Americans are affected by this illness. The worst thing is that most people don’t notice that they have it. So, they are more likely to miss out the treatments that can save them from trouble.
Usually, physical symptoms may arise with excess worry, such as –
One of the main emotional symptoms of GAD is the exaggerated and constant feel of anxiety and tension. You may not know why you are so tensed. You may be worried too much about normal things like relationships, bills or even your health. All such worries can get so worse that it can deter your ability to think positively and sleep. The illness and poor sleep may start irritating you
GAD or Daily Worries
A lot of people are likely to spend time thinking about their problems, be it finances, relationships or professional life. One difference that keeps GAD aside is the worry that never ends. You cannot get relaxed, even though you are doing something great. Even worse, GAD can trouble you in relationships, work, and everyday activities.
Who Develops GAD?
No matter you are a child, adult or elderly, you may develop a general anxiety disorder at any age. It usually appears gradually and its first symptom may occur from childhood to adulthood.
Causes of GAD
Most experts believe that GAD is genetics. The genes passed on from the family may put you at the risk of developing anxiety but it’s not the whole truth. Along with DNA, some psychological factors and environment are also responsible.
Diagnosis of GAD
Well, there is no lab test to diagnose General Anxiety Disorder. So, it is done with the description of symptoms. So, when sharing about your anxiety to the doctor, be specific to them. You may have a general anxiety disorder if you have been worrying or feeling anxious too much for around 6 months. You may be asked about these things –
Treatment of GAD
You may get some antidepressants that are helpful to reduce anxiety, such as Effexor XR, Cymbalta, and Paxil etc. Be sure to get doctor’s prescription before using one. It is likely to take around 4-6 weeks to make you feel better. You may be prescribed to take a benzodiazepine for a few days or weeks. Some of the brand names are Valium, Xanax, Ativan etc. However, they have a risk of dependence. Before using any drug, keep in mind to ask your doctor first.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the very effective talk therapies to cure anxiety. You may consult a counselor who may help you determine negative actions and thoughts. CBT may consist of homework like writing the thoughts down which cause excess worry. It will also teach you some calming techniques. You may feel better within 3-4 weeks. Taking some medicine with CBT can give you better results.
You can make few easy changes in regular activities to support your GAD treatment. You should eat a healthy diet and take enough rest. Keep street drugs, caffeine and some cold medicines at bay that may lead to anxiety symptoms. Try meditation and yoga and some other relaxation techniques. Perform some moderate physical activity and exercise to increase the calming effect.
Some evidence proves that kava is helpful to ease the anxiety of moderate levels. But there is a lack of enough evidence to prove whether St. John’s or valerian wort eases GAD symptoms. Make sure to ask your doctor before you start out any herbal remedy. Some of them may cause harmful interactions and side effects.
It’s difficult to know whether or not complementary remedies work due to lack of research in them. For a lot of people, massage is relaxing. But another study found that massage is not able to control GAD symptoms better than listening to music. Similarly, acupuncture has not been proved whether it is helpful to treat anxiety.
Other Disorders Related to GAD
People with GAD are also likely to develop alcoholism, depression or drug addiction. You may need another treatment plan if one of them occurs. For people who developed GAD, there are also chances to develop another anxiety disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Some people are likely to develop PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder after passing through worst turmoil, such as physical assaults, natural disaster, abuse or accident which may cause this kind of anxiety. Some of the symptoms are a lack of interest in doing enjoyable activities and vivid flashbacks. They may also have a problem in being lovable. They may become violent and feel irritable. It can be treated with counseling and medications.
People who developed panic disorder are likely to have sudden attacks. Some of the possible symptoms are sweating, pounding heart, nausea, dizziness or chest pain. It may seem like you are dying, having a heart attack or losing your mind. It can be treated like other anxiety disorders.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People who have developed OCD are likely to have troubling thoughts that are unable to be controlled. Some people may want to do some senseless rituals. Common signs are locking the door again and again and washing hands repeatedly. They may count things for no reason or dressed in a specific order. Most of them know that such rituals are nonsense but they can’t control themselves. It is treated with psychotherapy and medication.
Social Anxiety Disorder
People with this condition may feel panic and self-conscious in social situations. Some of the common symptoms are blushing, sweating, nausea, or problem talking in such events.