Feeling anxious from time to time is normal for most people dealing with stressful situations. However, excessive, constant worry and fear that are difficult to control may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.
This psychiatric condition does more than just cause ongoing anxiety. GAD interferes with daily activities where people constantly expect the worst. Something may trigger anxiety they feel with this disorder. What makes this different from normal concerns is their reaction is either unrealistic or disproportionately great for the circumstance.
Many people with GAD recognize their fear is unwarranted. However, this disorder can become a cycle of excessive worrying and seem unmanageable. Some people afflicted with this mental illness can lead normal lives with the right treatment.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People who suffer from generalized anxiety display many symptoms such as:
- Twitching or shakiness
- Sweating profusely
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Unexplained headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches
Constant worry leaves them with the inability to relax. They have a difficult time concentrating and can be easily startled.
The intensity of these symptoms varies with anxiety getting better or worse at certain times. One minute they are leading normal lives, and in the next moment they cannot function.
What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
No single cause links to generalized anxiety although trauma, brain chemistry and genetics are contributing factors. Risk of having this disorder increases when people experience long-term stress. Family history of anxiety or chemical imbalance also increases their risk of having GAD.
Generally, this disorder affects women more often than men. On average, the onset of GAD occurs at age 31 but can gradually begin and develop at any time. It usually starts between childhood and middle age.
Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A doctor or mental health professional may use several techniques to diagnose GAD. They may start with a physical exam. This is done to see if the anxiety is linked to an underlying medical condition or medications.
They may order urine, blood or other tests if they suspect it is a medical condition. Questions about symptoms and medical history, and psychological questionnaires also help to make an accurate diagnosis.
Effective Treatments for GAD
Decisions for generalized anxiety treatment is based on how the disorder affects a person’s ability to function in daily life. The two primary treatments for GAD are psychotherapy and medication.
A combination of both may offer the best benefits for healing. Some people respond well when alternative treatments like yoga or mindfulness training supplement primary methods.
Psychotherapy, known as talk therapy, involves working with a therapist to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is most effective for this condition. A person learns the connection between how they feel, behave and think.
Therapy sessions teach them specific skills on managing their worries. In fact, as their symptoms improve, they can learn to control the underlying causes of their worries.
Medications are often introduced at the beginning of treatment to control symptoms of anxiety. One person may only need a short-term course of medication. Another may benefit from a long-term approach especially if they have a co-occurring disorder. Medication is monitored frequently and adjusted as necessary.
Learn More about Our Anxiety Disorder Treatment Programs
Silver Pines Treatment Center offers holistic and experiential residential care in a safe and friendly atmosphere. Moreover, we provide a healing environment for recovering from generalized anxiety disorder and resolving underlying issues.
The overwhelming effects of this condition can make it difficult to function normally. However, our natural and restorative setting gives you space to be whole again.
For example, we offer mental health treatment services that include:
Put an end to the worry and confusion constantly interrupting your life. Contact us at 866-345-2147 so we can determine the best treatment plan for you.