What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Everybody normally worries about different kinds of issues like bills, work and relationships, but for the people suffering with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the worrying never ends. The anxiety can come in many ways, it’s a disorder often missed and not treated by the doctors. For some of you, anxiety had been a threat in your life, fighting with the panic attacks.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Causes Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Genetic Causes of GAD: When you are suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, your fear may be related to the particular family event. You can feel anxious nearly all the time you are at home and your anxiety can influence every aspect of your family life. The feeling may be because of some history of the family tree or someone experiencing a painful event at home, and living a normal life almost not possible.

Brain Chemistry Causes of GAD: The abnormal functioning of the nerve cell in the brain system. They transfer the information from one nerve cell to another because of the chemical called neurotransmitters. If the neurotransmitters do not function well then there are chances of these disorders taking place. They can be treated in various ways like medicines and therapies.

Environmental Causes of GAD: The surroundings can also affect the behavior of the person. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common disorder that affects people throughout the world, especially if the people have lost their jobs a number of times, stressful moments at home, death of a loved one and many other factors. It is as continuous worrying or anxiety, a normal tension and nervousness with people finding it very hard to change their way of living.

Risk Factors Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

  • The condition affects you physically and emotionally, taking away of your energy, destroying any sense of health, and generally keeping you tired. You will also worry about the same number of things. This also affects your personality.
  • Worries will constantly be in your head, you will not be able to get rid of them. You will think of things that you should not be thinking of. It is not good at all since that involves many risk factors. It gets involved in your personal life and does not allow you to do anything at all. The worry may be because of the family event that you are unable to get off your mind.

Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

Symptoms of GAD in Adults:

Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  1. All The Time Worrying: When you worry daily, or not able to stop thinking about your worries even when you are involved in some other activity in your life. You are always caught in a worrying cycle that you cannot get out of.
  2. Facing The Problem Of Getting Proper Sleep: Sleeping becomes difficult for you. The reason is that your mind is always thinking about something, or you are so tired during the day that you fall asleep easily but during the night, you are all awake.
  3. Feeling Tired All The Time: The primary reason is that since the mind is in the awake mode, the rest of the body never goes down to relax.
  4. Continuous Pain in The Different Parts Of The Body: The doctor can help alleviate the reason for pain. The anxiety is at different levels because of the pain caused.
  5. Unable To Relax And Concentrate: Since your mind is always worrying it becomes very difficult to give full attention to the activities of the day. You will be lost in your world of thoughts.
  6. Finding it difficult to eat or swallow food.
  7. Finding it difficult to breathe at times.

Physical Signs And Symptoms Of GAD May Include:

  • Too much of tiredness
  • Irritation
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Trembling of the legs and hands
  • Get frightened very fast
  • Trouble while sleeping
  • Copious amount of sweating
  • Problems of Nausea, diarrhea or griping of the stomach
  • Continuous cycle of Headaches

Symptoms Of Generalized Anxiety Disorder In Children And Teenagers:

The above-mentioned symptoms are for all the age groups, the below mentioned are for the children and teenagers who have generalized anxiety disorder may be thinking too much than their considerable age about:

  • Their Performance at sports events and examination.
  • Punctuality matters a lot to them.
  • The natural calamities like the Earthquakes, nuclear war etc.

A teenager with generalized anxiety disorder may also have following symptoms:

  • Anxiety is predominating
  • Strives to be perfect always.
  • They have to do the task again because of imperfection.
  • Extra time is spent doing homework.
  • Low self esteem
  • Tries to gain approval from others.
  • Performance needs to be recognized.

Diagnosis For Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

  • Once it is confirmed that the symptoms of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder are present, then the doctor can take the following precautions. The doctor can ask you about the medical history of yours which you have gone through. The doctor might make use of the different tests to diagnose the anxiety disorder and seek for the signs of the physical symptoms, which may be visible.
  • The doctor, on the basis of the volume and the time of symptoms will check if there are major problems with the symptoms of the persons that can cause physical and mental wear and tear. The doctor will then find out the degree and the number of symptoms to diagnose GAD. If Generalized Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed then the symptoms should be present for a minimum of six months. The symptoms should also affect your daily life and cause you to skip and take leave from your daily office work.

Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

The treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD are given under medication or the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT:

  • Medication For Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD: The drugs are given to treat the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and may be given to improve in the function of daily life. The drugs given for short period of time are benzodiazepines. These medications are also known as sedative hypnotics since they can cure intense feelings of anxious from the human mind. They normally work on restlessness and other symptoms. The drugs can cause severe side effects when combined with the other medicines and are harmful if a person is alcoholic. The antidepressants, such as, Effexor, Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, Cymbalta are also used to treat GAD but the time period is long. These antidepressants take a long time to benefit the person, but they are safer and better for long term treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Individuals suffering from a disorder of anxiety often are suggested this therapy, which is helpful. In this therapy, you will understand to realize and modify the thought pattern which will help you change the way you live your life.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 1, 2019

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