What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most commonly found chronic and long lasting health disorder related to anxiety found in adults. People suffering from GAD experience fears that are non-specific to any situation or object but affect their daily life. They become highly worried and concerned about petty things.

Most of the situations that they imagine to be the worst are irrational and uncontrollable. The imaginations of any upcoming danger or disaster are quite high and mostly an assumed version. They become concerned about various issues that could haunt daily life like money, health, family problems, death, friends, professional or peer pressure.

The mental preoccupation and stress of these patients often manifest physically through headache, nausea, muscle tension and aches, trembling, fatigue, swallowing and breathing difficulties, fidgeting, twitching, palpitations and perspiration, numbness in hands and feet, irritability, insomnia, increase in blood pressure and rashes. Generally, it is diagnosed when one or more of the above symptoms persist for more than 6 months.

GAD patients just entangle them consciously or unconsciously with a vicious circle of “what ifs” questions. There is no specific ‘trigger’ reason as to why people are ‘attacked’ with GAD. Excessive thinking leads to depression and the daily life becomes a burden and a bundle of fearsome experiences. Though they do not avoid social situations and there is no “panic attacks”, dwelling on the unseen and unknown and the inability to relax the mind out without anxious thoughts troubles the person. The person predominantly starts lacking energy, interest or zest in various things that fall into the daily routine.

GAD patients tend to feel the worst. If one of their family members is 10 minutes late, they immediately start worrying about a dreadful accident. In addition, they tend to start creating panic among people around them. They are often quite moody and the fluctuations or swings in their moods are high every hour.

GAD patients may not have bad days all the time but predominantly, there would be some imaginative issue haunting them most of the days. Some of the individuals become too moody at certain periods in a day. Others are anxious throughout in general and they are always excited and ecstatic or too quiet and refuse to talk much.

GAD people mostly fear enclosed spaces. They feel trapped in such situations. Social gathering may be disturbing for some who become too self conscious. Simple issues startle them and put a lot of pressure on their well-being and fitness. They are unable to settle down in a single place and try to be in constant movement in order to distract their worries. You may not see them calmly relaxing in a corner.

GAD patients respond very well to CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy). This is an active form of therapy where the patient gets involved while trying to look at problems with a different perspective in addition to involving the therapist for counselling. Medication may also be used but it may not be necessary until the case is too severe.

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