Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a disorder that can take time to develop, starting often from adolescence or early adulthood.

Whereas many people have worries about big or little things in their lives, people with GAD have an anxiety level that can actually interfere with their everyday lives, and simply getting through the day can be an overwhelming task for them. Symptoms can be difficult to diagnose as GAD, and it can take many appointments before one is diagnosed with GAD, being that the symptoms can sometimes have a medical explanation that can mask the GAD as the responsible factor (such as trouble sleeping, headaches, etc).

Some of the symptoms of GAD can have one or more of the following:

  • Extreme worry over minor life events or problems
  • Difficulty controlling worries, constant worries
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Lack of ability to concentrate
  • Becoming startled easily
  • Trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Unexplained aches and pains, (headaches, stomach aches, etc)
  • Sweating badly without reason
  • Light headed
  • Hyperventilating or feeling out of breath
  • Twitching or trembling Irritability

What to expect when seeking treatment:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a mental health diagnosis, and therefore, it is best to seek help from a mental health professional. It is recommended to make a list of the symptoms you’ve experienced, as this can be very helpful in obtaining the best treatment for your particular situation. You can seek the advice of your doctor to rule out any physical problems that may be causing some of the symptoms you or your loved ones are experiencing, and they may refer you to a mental health professional from there.

GAD can be treated by antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, or psychotherapy (working with a mental health professional on treatment they recommend) or both. It is important to comply with treatment prescribed, and to communicate any side effects or thoughts of self harm you may have as soon as those problems occur.

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