GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
Most people experience anxiety on and off throughout the course of their lives. Those who suffer with generalized anxiety disorder, however, do so on a day to day basis. Their anxiety becomes chronic and fills their lives with exaggerated worry and tension, even though the subject they are worrying about doesn’t logically warrant it.
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder are always anticipating doom, disaster, and the worst-case scenarios. They worry about their health, money, family, work, and the world in general. Their reason for worry is often hard to pinpoint. Even the thought of getting through another day can bring on anxiety.
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel that they can’t stop worrying, even though they know the subject they are worrying about isn’t that serious.
Those who experience generalized anxiety disorder commonly experience accompanying symptoms, such as acute or chronic fatigue; headaches; muscle tension, stiffness, and even debilitating pain; general aches and pains; difficulty swallowing or feeling like there is something stuck in their throat; trembling; uncontrollable twitching; irritability; hot and cold flashes; profuse sweating for no apparent reason; and lightheadedness or dizziness. They can experience many or all of the symptoms common for anxiety. (View our Anxiety Symptoms section for symptoms commonly associated with anxiety.)
Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder feel they can’t relax and think that they always have to be on alert for danger. Worry has become their protection mechanism. They often startle more easily than others and have difficulty concentrating. Many also feel persistently joyless, frustrated, and frequently depressed. Their sleep patterns can also become regularly disrupted with their inability to sleep becoming yet another reason for worry and concern.
Many with generalized anxiety disorder appear fine on the surface, seem to go about their day normally, may seem calm and relaxed, or may be perceived as the last person to have an anxiety problem. It’s their internal life (thoughts, beliefs, and emotions), however, that undergoes intense and persistent turmoil.
Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 6% of the population and affects twice as many women as it does men. The disorder usually comes on gradually and can begin at any age, though the onset of it is more frequent between childhood and middle age. Those who experience incessant worry for six months or more are typically diagnosed as having generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder often co-occurs with other disorders such as depression or substance abuse.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be successfully resolved. Anyone can do it with the right information, help, and support.
For more information on Anxiety Disorders.
For more information on Anxiety Symptoms.
For more information on Anxiety Attacks.
For more information on Anxiety.
If you are struggling with generalized anxiety disorder, we encourage you to take steps to overcome it. You don’t have to suffer needlessly. You can regain your normal life. With today’s new treatments, such as the information in the members area of our website combined with Personal Coaching/Counselling/Therapy, you can overcome generalized anxiety disorder.
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated April 2015.