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How to Get Rid of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)


Generalized Anxiety Disorder occurs in 4% of the population and is more common in women. Symptoms are persistent and often chronic. General anxiety disorder (GAD) and its related panic disorder are differential diagnoses for medically unexplained symptoms, owing to the many physical symptoms that are caused by these conditions.

The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are persistent and are not restricted to, or markedly increased in, any particular set of circumstances (In contrast to phobic anxiety disorders).

A rational response to a real threat, occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Overwhelming anxiety, however, can result in generalized anxiety disorder - uncontrollable, unreasonable worry that persists for at least 6 months and narrows perceptions or interferes with normal functioning. Recent evidence indicates that the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder is greater than previously thought and may be even greater than that of depression. Generalized anxiety disorder can begin at any age but typically has an onset between ages 20 and 39. Anxiety disorder affects about 4 million Americans and about twice as many women than men.

Patients with generalized anxiety disorder experience worry or anxiety and a number of physical and psychologic symptoms. The disorder is frequently difficult to diagnose because of the variety of presentations and the common occurrence of comorbid medical or psychiatric conditions. The essential characteristic of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is excessive uncontrollable worry about everyday things. This constant worry affects daily functioning and can cause physical symptoms.

Laboratory tests must rule out organic causes of the patient's signs and symptoms, such as hyperthyroidism. pheochromocytoma, coronary artery disease, supraventricular tachycardia, and Meniere's disease. For example, an electrocardiogram can rule out myocardial ischemia in a patient who complains of chest pain. Blood tests, including complete blood count, white blood cell count and differential, and serum lactate and calcium levels, can rule out hypocalcemia.

In DSM-IV, an essential feature of generalized anxiety disorder is that the anxiety and worry cannot be attributable to the more focal distress of panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other conditions. Rather, as implied by the name, the excessive worries often pertain to many areas, including work, relationships, finances, the well-being of one's family, potential misfortunes, and impending deadlines.

It is often chronic, and patients with this disorder are more likely to be seen by family physicians than by psychiatrists. GAD is a long-term illness that can last for many years before it is even diagnosed and treated. This is why many people with GAD believe their anxiousness is purely a part of their personality. All of us must realize that GAD is an illness that can and will interfere with our every day life and is connected with physical symptoms.

What causes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Theorists share a common premise about generalized anxiety disorder:Conflict, whether intrapsychic, social personal, or interpersonal, promotes an anxiety state.

It is not yet known what causes GAD. Because Generalized Anxiety Disorder tends to run in families, it is possible that there is a genetic component, but it could also be that it is a learned response within a family. Modern brain scan technology may eventually help determine if there is a particular area of the brain that is the site of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

How Common is GAD - Generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder occurs more often in women, with a sex ratio of about 2 women to 1 man (Brawman-Mintzer & Lydiard, 1996). The 1-year population prevalence is about 3 percent (Table 4-1). Approximately 50 percent of cases begin in childhood or adolescence. The disorder typically runs a fluctuating course, with periods of increased symptoms usually associated with life stress or impending difficulties. There does not appear to be a specific familial association for general anxiety disorder. Rather, rates of other mood and anxiety disorders typically are greater among first-degree relatives of people with generalized anxiety disorder.

  • About 2.8% of the U.S. population (4 million Americans) have GAD during a year's time.
  • GAD most often strikes people in childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood, too. It affects women more often than men.

It involves worrying with no reason at all

Generalized anxiety disorder is a common condition that some people can suffer from. It is a condition where a person can begin to feel anxiety at varying times. The big thing about this is that the anxiety in question will be for absolutely nothing at all. A person will not be able to stop worrying about different types of things in one’s life even if one is secure in certain things. There is always the worry that a person will deal with failure at some point in time.

Unrealistic views can be common

A person may begin to experience unrealistic opinions about what one is going through. This includes thinking that failure is always going to be around the corner and that it cannot be stopped.

Varying physical effects can be felt

A number of physical side effects can occur from generalized anxiety disorder. For example, a person can begin to feel tension in the body. Nausea and a difficult time with concentrating on different things can also be present in a person who is dealing with this condition. It can be easy for a person to become startled when dealing with this disorder. These are all signs that are common among different anxiety disorders and should be considered.

Can these signs by treated?

Generalized anxiety disorder can be treated. It will help to talk with one’s psychiatrist for assistance on trying to find a cause of the condition. Sometimes treatment by hypnosis can work. Also, while some medications can be used to treat the problem they may not always be as useful as they might be. The best thing anyone can do is to talk with a psychiatrist on figuring out what the best option is for treating this type of anxiety disorder.

How do I know if I have GAD - Generalized anxiety disorder?

Most people worry from time to time, and these occasional worries are normal. They don't mean that you have GAD. If you have GAD, you worry so much that it interferes with your day-to-day life, and you feel tense and worried more days than not. Other signs of GAD include the following:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Getting tired easily
  • Restlessness, or feeling "keyed up" or on edge

If you feel tense most of the time and have some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will probably examine you and ask some questions to make sure that something else isn't causing your symptoms. Sometimes certain kinds of medicine may cause GAD. You could also have these symptoms if your thyroid gland is too active, or if you are depressed. However, if your doctor doesn't find any other reason for your symptoms, you may need to be treated for GAD.

What are the Risk Factors of Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) ?

There are biological and environmental risk factors for GAD, which include the following:

  • Environmental stressors (e.g., work, school, relationships)
  • Genetics
  • Sleep deprivation, sleep inconsistency
Stressful situations in the following areas can intensify symptoms:
  • Financial concerns
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • School problems
  • Work problems

Research has shown a 20% risk for GAD in blood relatives of people with the disorder and a 10% risk among relatives of people with depression. There also seems to be a correlation between GAD and other psychiatric disorders, including depression, phobia disorder, and panic disorder. Anxiety is a risk factor for sleep disorders such as insomnia.

GAD can occur with other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, or substance abuse. GAD is often difficult to diagnose because it lacks some of the dramatic symptoms, such as unprovoked Panic Attacks, that are seen with other anxiety disorders; for a diagnosis to be made, worry must be present more days than not for at least 6 months.

The patient can learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, focused relaxation, and visualization.

Facts and Tips about Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  1. Excessive and uncontrollable worry, tension and anxiety are the characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
  2. The things which are responsible for generalized anxiety disorder are daily routine problems such as health, money, family, friend and future problems or difficulties at work.
  3. Physical effect of GAD is tiredness, headaches, vomiting, muscle tension or aches, twitching, irritability, sweating, sleeping problems, difficult to relax, concentration problems. GAD remain continue for at least 6 months.
  4. GAD is more common in female and generally start in childhood or puberty.
  5. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, Behavioral therapy and medication are helpful for treating GAD. Exercise, Yoga, meditation and other techniques are also helpful to reduce GAD.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - An overview

Symptoms of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) Treatment

Medication for GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

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