Everyone experiences anxiety now and again – particularly when stressful events crop up – but if you find yourself worrying much of the time, you might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. This disorder differs from day to day stress because it is often not directly related to specific events in your life – instead, people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder tend to feel worried and anxious no matter what they are doing. Even when curling up on the sofa with a good book, these people’s minds are likely to wander to unpleasant, stressful thoughts.
Fortunately, there are treatments available to help ease the effects of generalized anxiety disorder – your doctor can help you decide which option is right for you. No single treatment is right for every person – your body chemistry, lifestyle, and general outlook on life will all factor in to how your disorder can be most effectively addressed. Before you call your doctor, though, take a look at this list of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms:
- You frequently feel as though disaster is about to strike. This is one of the most common generalized anxiety disorder symptoms – people who suffer from this condition often worry excessively about money, health, work, and other concerns. In some cases, they can’t even pinpoint the source of their anxiety – they just feel a pervasive sense of impending doom.
- You find that you are unable to relax. Because of the constant anxiety you feel, you often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep – so you feel tired much of the time. In turn, chronic sleeplessness can actually increase pervasive feelings of anxiety – so the situation becomes a vicious circle – you can’t sleep because you are stressed and worried, and then the lack of sleep makes you feel even more anxious.
- You have physical symptoms, such as sweating, nausea, hot flashes, muscle tension, or irritability. These physical symptoms often contribute to a sense of irritability, and can produce long term fatigue that makes it difficult to attend to work related tasks. They can also make it difficult to engage in leisure activities, further contributing to the stress and anxiety you experience on a daily basis
- You have trouble focusing on daily tasks. One of the most common generalized anxiety disorder symptoms is a feeling of your mind simply “going blank” – you suddenly forget what you were supposed to be doing, or what you were about to say. This symptom often produces even more anxiety, because you become afraid of having your mind go blank during work or social situations.
- You easily become impatient with yourself, or with others around you. Most often, this stems from the feeling that something horrible is about to happen – you’re always pushing yourself and others to do more in an effort to stave off the faceless disaster that you feel is looming over you.
While some people will have all of these generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, many people with this disorder will only notice a few of them. It’s also important to remember that this list can’t diagnose generalized anxiety disorder; rather, these symptoms are strong indicators that you may be suffering from the disorder. Talk to your doctor about your generalized anxiety disorder symptoms, so he or she can make a diagnosis, and help you get on the path to recovery.