Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

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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.

 

Hope for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Panic Away for Panic Attacks

What is it like to live with generalized anxiety disorder? Imagine you’re riding in a plane, and the pilot tells everyone on the plane that the aircraft is experiencing technical difficulties. You immediately start having feelings of impending doom – even though you don’t know the exact nature of the technical difficulties, you are left to assume the worst.

Now, imagine having that feeling all day, every day. Even when you are attending to simple tasks, such as grocery shopping or errand running, you have a pervasive feeling that something is about to go horribly wrong. That’s how people with generalized anxiety disorder or GAD live their lives.

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Fortunately, there are many methods of generalized anxiety disorder treatment that can help sufferers conquer these constant feelings of anxiety, so they can resume living normal, fulfilling lives. If you or someone you love suffers from this condition, rest assured that effective treatment is available – even if you have been dealing with anxiety for years.

One of the most important strategies for generalized anxiety disorder treatment is self help. There are numerous things you can do to reduce feelings of anxiety, even while implementing other methods. First, you can take steps to remove things to contribute to your stress, such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. You can also begin an exercise program, take steps toward adopting a healthier diet, and ask for the support of your family and friends.

Meditation, prayer, and deep breathing are also important parts of generalized anxiety disorder treatment. These techniques will help you to become more focused, reduce physical tension, and become less reactive to external sources of anxiety. Meditation and deep breathing require quite a bit of practice, but as you continue to use these techniques, they will become increasingly more effective.

Many anxiety sufferers find it difficult to sit still long enough to reap the benefits of meditation; for these people, Tai Chi or yoga may serve as a useful alternative.

There are also several medications which can be used to reduce the effects of generalized anxiety disorder. These include Buspar, an effective anti anxiety medication; benzodiazepines, which can provide rapid relief for bouts of anxiety, and antidepressants, which can help address underlying depression and contribute to better, more restful sleep. Your doctor may recommend using several of these medications to provide a comprehensive approach to chemically treating your disorder. Keep in mind, though, that each of these medications can produce unpleasant side effects, such as loss of appetite, irritability, and nausea.

Several types of therapy can also be used as part of a comprehensive generalized anxiety disorder treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used for people with this disorder – you will learn to address the underlying factors of your anxiety, and you will be encouraged to evaluate how these underlying causes relate to your day to day life. By analyzing these causes and placing them in the proper context, you will likely be empowered to detach from them, so that you can begin approaching your life more calmly.

While no single approach to generalized anxiety disorder is appropriate for every person, you will find that integrating several elements of treatment can help you effectively eliminate the paralyzing effects of this disorder. With the help of your doctor, you can create a treatment strategy that is right for you.

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