Always worried? It could be GAD!
Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is a condition where a person tends to have excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry too much about normal daily events where there is no obvious reason to worry. The person may be chronically worrying about health, work, family, children and so on. At some point, it will reach a stage where the worry takes over and affects daily functioning. The feelings would become uncontrollable.
Every year, 4 million adult Americans suffer from GAD. This is more common in women. It usually starts during adolescence or childhood but can start during adulthood too.
A family history of anxiety can trigger GAD. Childhood abuse is a risk factor and also having had to face stressful situations such as financial trouble or illness for a long period of time. Consuming too much of caffeine or tobacco can make anxiety worse. Taking alcohol may initially seem to bring down the level of anxiety but later it can impact the mood.
Typical GAD Symptoms
Some of the key symptoms are excessive worry and tension, trouble sleeping, tiredness, inability to concentrate, sweating, headaches, nausea, irritability, tensed muscles, trembling, frequent urination, restlessness and more.
Treatment for GAD is usually a blend of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Therapy includes sessions with a mental health professional that help to transform behavior and thinking. Therapy sessions work to help recognize and control anxious thoughts when they arise. Relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, exercise, and other alternatives can also help. It’s good to talk to a close friend or family member when fears, worries and anxiety strike.
The doctor might prescribe anti-anxiety medications such as alprazolam (Xanax) or lorazepam (Ativan). These work to brings down the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as muscle tension and stomach cramping. Anti-depressants may also be prescribed.