In this modern and busy world, staying without depression, stress, and anxiety is tricky. As an ordinary person, you may constantly worry about a range of things, such as your family, health, or finances. You may do this even when you know there isn't a reason to worry. Its caused by generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD). This disorder often occurs around 30, but it can also affect children.
Recent studies have indicated that GAD produces disability more significantly than in psychiatrically healthy subjects without significant depression co-morbidity. This excessive, unrealistic worry can be frightening and interfere with relationships and daily activities. However, a range of treatment options is available. First, let's see what generalized Anxiety disorder is.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition that causes fear, worry, and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It relates to frequent and unrealistic worry about everyday things like job responsibilities, health, etc. GAD is one of several Anxiety disorders more common in women than men.
Patients with symptoms of GAD always expect disaster and are concerned about health, money, family, work, or school. Even depression and drug abuse are usually associated with Anxiety disorders.
Signs and Symptoms
The Following are the Physical and mental symptoms Of GAD. If these get worse, then contact your physician instantly.
- Being easily fatigued
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle tension
- Observing situations as more threatening
- Facing problems in letting go of worries
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Difficulty with uncertain situations
- Irritability, nervousness, overthinking, and difficulty relaxing
- Muscle tension
- Twitching or trembling
- Repeated stomach aches, diarrheic
Distinguishing Gad From Other Mental Health Issues
Anxiety is a common symptom of many other mental health illnesses, like depression and phobias. GAD is distinct from these conditions in several ways.
People with depression may occasionally feel anxious, and people with a phobia may worry about one particular thing. People with GAD worry about many different topics over a long period (six months or more), or they may not be able to identify the source of their worry.
Causes and Risk Factors Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are some causes given below which usually have risk factors in them. To prevent GAD, you should avoid or overcome some situations, such as overthinking, taking stress, etc.
The cause of generalized Anxiety disorder will arise from a complex interaction between biological and environmental factors, including Differences in brain chemistry and function, Genetics, differences in the way threats are perceived & developed, and Personality.
- Genetic: A person has a genetic vulnerability and some environmental factors which develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Close relatives, such as parents, siblings, or children, are considered first-degree relatives of GAD.
- Brain Structure: The amygdala is essential to people's ability to discern and feel fear. People diagnosed with GAD show elevated amygdala activity while processing negative emotions. Heightened activity within the amygdala might influence inaccurate interpretations of social behavior for patients with GAD.
- Gray Matter: There is an increased amount of gray matter in the brain, which is responsible for GAD and other mood disorders. An area of the brain named the right putamen shows increased gray matter in patients with GAD.
- Experiencing trauma: Trauma in childhood leads to an increased risk of developing GAD. Experiences like physical and mental abuse, the death of a loved one, abandonment, divorce, or isolation are all contributing factors.
- Learned Behaviour: According to some scientists, anxiety is a learned behavior. When a person has a parent or caregiver, who indicates anxious behavior, they may tend to mirror that behavior.
- Societal Factors: Interacting with others on social media can place us through the same challenges. People with GAD cannot interpret social cues, possibly leaving them to feel a heightened sense of danger or rejection.
- Caffeine: Using caffeine daily can be addictive as it can heighten feelings of worry or nervousness, leading to anxiety.
- Relationships: Relationships can be an essential source of anxiety for women since women are twice as likely as men to develop GAD. Dangerous and fearful experiences within intimate relationships will influence the development of pressure.
- Job stress: Work can be a significant source of stress through which employers can develop anxiety. Some employers expect extraordinary performance and productivity that can threaten a team member's sense. Career and work-related stress, particularly job loss, can be a symbolic source of heightened anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosis And Treatment
In this term, The client is asked to do a physical exam to check if the signs of anxiety are linked to medications or an underlying medical condition. If a medical condition is suspected, it is expected to order blood or urine tests.
A professional will ask detailed questions about his symptoms and medical history. They will use psychological questionnaires to help determine a diagnosis with the help of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is used for GAD, which aims to help a person identify and change their unhealthy emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Mental health professionals often use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat GAD. During CBT, a professional will help the client take a closer look at his thoughts and emotions to understand how their ideas and excessive worrying affect their actions. Through CBT, you can unlearn negative or worrying thoughts and behaviors. This helps you to adopt healthier thinking patterns and habits. The client may also learn progressive muscle relaxation and other techniques to reduce the physical symptoms of GAD.
In Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), therapists will use an approach of Mindfulness and goal setting to reduce discomfort and anxiety. It focuses on behavior change and decreasing the governing function of pressure. ACT has two main objectives:
- Training acceptance of problematic unhelpful thoughts and feelings that cannot and perhaps need not be controlled
- Commitment and action toward living life due to chosen values.
There are a few exercises and actions which are helpful in milder anxiety disorders, which include:
- Stress management
- Relaxation techniques
- Positive thinking exercises
- Support network
- Physical Exercise
Lifestyle Changes Can Relieve Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In today's busy world, people spend their present health on improving their future, but a slight lifestyle change can quickly relieve their mental stress. Many people can find ease by adopting specific lifestyle changes. These may include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting regular exercise if possible
- Eating a balanced and nutrient-dense diet
- Talking with a friend, spouse, or family member about fears and worries
- Practicing yoga and meditation
- Avoiding stimulants, such as coffee, diet pills, and caffeine pills
Alcohol And Anxiety
Consumption of alcohol can make you feel less anxious instantly. That's why people with anxiety may consume alcohol to feel better.
However, it's important to remember that alcohol can harm your health and mood. Within a few hours after drinking, or the day after, you may feel more irritability or depression. Alcohol can also interfere with the medications used to treat anxiety. Some medication and alcohol combinations can be fatal.
If you find that your drinking interferes with your daily activities, talk to your doctor and also find free support to stop drinking through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Other Mental Issues From Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Some mental health disorders that commonly go with a generalized anxiety disorder include:
Prevention From Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are different ways to reduce the risk of Anxiety disorders. Firstly it's necessary to remember that some anxious feelings are a natural factor of your daily life, and experiencing them does not mean you have a mental health disorder. To regulate anxious emotions, use the following steps:
- Caffeine, tea, cola, and chocolate should be avoided
- Consult a doctor before taking over-the-counter (OTC) or herbal medications
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Keep a regular sleep pattern
- Avoid alcohol, cannabis, and other recreational drugs
Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a type of mental health issue that may seem difficult to handle as it is characterized by excessive worrying, stress, and other physical symptoms. Still, fortunately, most people can manage GAD with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. There are some signs and risk factors mentioned above that will help you to identify Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
If you are feeling anxious constantly, then discuss it with your doctor. So, they can guide you to a mental health professional who can use therapies like Talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to overcome your anxiety.
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