Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Everything You Need to Know
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is among the most prominent anxiety disorders. It is generally considered the most severe of them all as it has no certain triggers as their anxiety disorders. It comes and goes anywhere and everywhere.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost 3.1% of the US population is affected by GAD every year. It is further said that women are twice as likely to get GAD compared to men. Pretty shocking, eh?
In this article today, I’m going to highlight everything there is to know about GAD. It will help increase mental health awareness and in case you ever go through any such symptoms, you’ll know what to do. So, let’s get this started:
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are a number of symptoms when it comes to generalized anxiety disorder. Yes, it’s a lot more than just staying anxious. Plus, all its symptoms must stay for six months or more in order to be officially diagnosed with GAD. The symptoms are as follows:
- Uncontrollable feelings of worry and fear
- Trembling, shaking, and sweating
- Loss of appetite or binge eating
- Frequent digestive issues
- Muscle tension and fatigue
- Decreased need for sleep
- Difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
- Feeling restless, on the edge, and wound up
Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Coming to the bell of the hour, how to treat generalized anxiety disorder? Is it curable? The good news is that it’s completely curable. Several options are present when it comes to the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Let me list them down here so that you know what options you have:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are prescribed to control the feelings of worry and fear.
- Benzodiazepines and other sleep-inducing agents are given to regulate sleep, especially to those who have insomnia.
- Herbs and plants are encouraged as a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medications, including chamomile, passionflower, shroom chocolates, and lavender.
- Many relaxing techniques can help naturally tame the symptoms of anxiety, including meditation, yoga, and chiropractic therapy.
- Massage therapy is also beneficial to control physical tension and eliminate the mental exhaustion that anxiety brings to the table.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is prescribed to alter the thought process and challenge the negative thoughts that trigger anxiety in the first place.
Risk Factors of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There is no exact cause of generalized anxiety disorder; however, many things can contribute to the development and severity of the disorder. They include:
- Having a first-grade relative with a mental health illness
- A history of depression as GAD often co-occurs with major depressive disorder
- Prolonged episodes of stress, including financial stability or familial conflicts
- Direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic event, such as rape, physical assault, or mental torture
- Age-related issues as people with dementia often have anxiety
Avoiding mental health disorders is not possible; however, you can protect yourself by knowing all such details about common mental health disorders. The more you know, the better you can treat them.