What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Its Treatment?

4 min read

Envisage this - you have a relative visiting in the evening and you are already running late in submitting a project in your office. You can leave office only after finishing the project, but there will be traffic snarls. You are in a fix whether to cook at home or order from outside, but the aunt visiting you doesn't prefer outside food. You have a lot of anxiety going inside. The next morning, you wake up fresh, having slept late as it was the weekend. You had a great time with your guest the previous night as you reached on time and the food you cooked for your aunt was really liked. So, the anxiety was gone and you didn't feel any guilt or stress.

This is absolutely normal and happens with most of us. Now, let us shift our focus to one of your colleagues who worries all the time about - what is going to happen in the future; what will happen with his career; will his family flourish in these times of economic downturn?

This constant worry about everyday life is a disorder commonly called generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. Unlike phobia, which is related to a specific thing or situation, GAD is a generic dread that often paints a grim picture of the entire life.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, annually. Women are twice as likely to be affected, it says. This is a global epidemic, with numerous people falling prey to persistent, excessive and unrealistic worries about everyday things.

Though it is normal to feel anxious at times, it is a disorder when our fears and worries become constant and they hamper our ability to carry out our daily chores. GAD is completely treatable at the general anxiety treatment centers.

What causes GAD?

Normally, GAD runs in the family. However, no concrete reasons have been found as to why it occurs to some and not to others. Scientists have identified parts in the brain related to fear and anxiety. Extensive research on these parts of the brain could yield better treatment options and throw light on probable causes of anxiety disorder.

When to press the panic button

How do you know that your worries are above normal and you need to seek advice from experts? GAD usually develops slowly in a person, with symptoms that are severe at one time and milder at other times. However, watch out for the following symptoms to ascertain whether you or a loved one has GAD:

  • Excessive worry and anxiety on most days for six months or more
  • The worry is difficult to control
  • Restlessness and a feeling of edginess all the time
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Constant irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety or worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life activities

GAD is generally not related to a person's health condition, substance abuse, medication, another mental health condition or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Path to recovery

Centers for general anxiety disorders treatment and other such facilities use psychotherapy and medications to treat patients. The psychotherapy session, also called cognitive behavior therapy, is especially beneficial for patients with GAD. It brings a different perspective to ways of thinking, behaving and reacting to situations in a person.

Medication for GAD includes buspirone, benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Moreover, self-help techniques are also taught to patients to cope with this disorder.

Barbara Odozi is associated with Florida Helpline for Anxiety for many years. Florida Helpline for Anxiety provides assistance in finding Generalized anxiety treatment centers. For more information call 855-920-9834.

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