Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health illness in which a person has chronic worrying and tension. It is a common anxiety illness, affecting 3-4% of the population, that turns daily life into a state of worry, anxiety, and fear. Over thinking on “what ifs” results in a vicious anxiety cycle, and could lead to depression as well as the constant anxiety affecting them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD: An Overview
If we asked you to guess what the most common cause of disability in the workplace is, what would you think? Work-related injury? Depression? Actually, the answer might surprise you – it’s generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which affects about 3 per cent of adult Americans annually. In addition, 3 per cent of American children, and up to 10 per cent of adolescents in this country experience GAD and the difficulties that come with it.
Of course, everybody knows what anxiety is and what it feels like when it’s happening to you. Perhaps it’s brought on by work stress, family worries, or bereavement; but in many instances there is no specific trigger and GAD – like many other psychiatric disorders – is a result of genes, early environmental influences, or a combination of the two. Unlike panic disorder where the anxiety is short-lived and intense, GAD symptoms are far more prolonged and typically involve anxiety symptoms for a significant portion of the day.
Generalized Anxiety Disorders GAD Symptoms:
- Constant uncontrollable worry, anxiety, or obsessiveness about multiple events or activities, such as health, money, work, school, and relationships, even when things may be running smoothly
- Routine life activities at home or at work being interrupted or not achieved at all, due to the anxiety or a sense of impending disaster
- Experiencing these symptoms for six months or longer
Generalizes Anxiety Disorder Physical Symptoms
- Sleep problems
- Feeling restlessness, on the edge, or easily irritable
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Unexplained muscle aches or tension
Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD Treatment
GAD treatment can include psychotherapy, medication and self-help. To discuss a potential treatment plan, please call for a consultation.
It is also worth noting that women are twice as likely to experience GAD than men, and that this may be due factors typically experienced more by women such as domestic abuse, discrimination, or poverty. The risk for GAD is also increased in abuse or trauma survivors, those suffering from chronic medical illnesses, or certain personality types. However in a majority of GAD cases an environmental cause is not identified and there is a genetic predisposition towards the condition.
If you are one of the 7-10 million Americans suffering from these symptoms, it’s important to seek assistance to help your condition because GAD does not go way on its own. The good news is that the condition is easily treated with psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, or medications. Remember: nobody has to expect to live in a state of constant fear and worry – assistance can all the difference.