What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder and How You Can Get Help

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AnxietyEveryone deals with day-to-day stress. We have jobs which stress us out, kids to take care of, payments to make, and you forgot to get your clothes from the dry cleaners. Life is a constant whirlwind of external pressures which we have to face and deal with, and it all makes us anxious.

For most of us, all we have to do to resolve this anxiety is take care of the problems. We go get that dry cleaning, pick our kids up from soccer, and finish our project for work, and suddenly all of those anxieties are gone. We are able to kick back in the evening and get our minds of of things.

Those who suffer from an anxiety disorder have it a bit different. The majority of people would not say anxiety characterizes their regular state of mind, but many feel as if they are constantly dealing with a myriad of anxieties that just won’t go away. If you feel this way on a regular basis, it is possible you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder differ for everyone, but they tend to include

  • Constant worrying about issues large and small
  • Restlessness and feeling on edge
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating or having your mind “go blank”
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy, or being easily startled
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating, nausea, or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat

People with GAD don’t just worry about day-to-day stresses. They also tend to worry needlessly about their safety or the safety of their family. They may also constantly feel as if an impending disaster is coming.

Younger GAD sufferers may be gripped with worries about performing well in school or sports, or living up to expectations. They may also struggle with social fears such as fitting in with peers.

Outward signs of these anxieties in children present themselves in a variety of ways, including:

  • Being a perfectionist
  • Lacking confidence
  • Constantly striving for approval
  • Requiring excessive reassurance about their performance

Any of these signs is a large indicator you or your child may need professional treatment. Everyone’s anxieties are different, and a doctor can help you understand and work through your anxieties. Not all treatments require medication, though patients with more severe anxiety issues may be prescribed a medicine to help manage the condition.

If your anxieties are causing you to feel depressed or feel suicidal, or turn to alcohol or drugs, please seek help immediately. A qualified professional will be able to assess the risk you pose to yourself or others, and place you on the appropriate path back to health.

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