Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Sometimes we worry. We care about things, want things to be perfect and want to get ahead of future problems to lessen their severity. However, if this becomes our usual state, something may be wrong. Generalized Anxiety Disorder—also known as GAD and in some circles worry disorder—is a mental health condition where you may have trouble turning that worry switch off.
Typically occurring before middle age (the average age of onset is around 30, with a great deal starting in the late teens and twenties), GAD is anxiety about legitimate and benign topics alike. These can be as universal as money and health related issues and as seemingly harmless as what clothes to wear. For those that struggle with GAD anything and everything can be a source of unusually extreme worry, so much so, it can cause personal distress, effecting work, school, relationships, even sleep.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Though a mental condition, generalized anxiety disorder can present with physical symptoms as well, including:
- Tension in muscles, severe enough to cause many to seek treatment
- Aches in muscles
- Trouble swallowing
- Hot flashes
- GI tract issues
- Feeling out of breath
- Having to use the bathroom frequently
I worry, do I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Only a trained mental health professional can make an official diagnosis, there are an infinite amount of overlapping conditions to sort through. However, for reference, the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness) states that to qualify for a diagnosis of GAD you need to exhibit the following:
- To have excessive worry/anxiety that lasts for 6-months or more (there is talk about reducing the threshold to 3 months).
- This anxiety must cause impartment in social, occupational and similar areas.
- Anxiety cannot be due to a substance or another illness
- Trouble controlling the anxiety/worry
You must also have three or more from the following list:
- Feel restless or “keyed up”
- Easily fatigued
- Trouble concentrating (or having your mind go blank)
- Muscle Tension
- Sleep disturbance
Generalized anxiety disorder may also present with what is called a comorbid condition, a co-existing condition that may or may not be related. In the case of GAD, depression has a high rate of co-occurring with sufferers.
It’s important to keep in mind that many of us have experienced a majority of these symptoms from time to time, but the hallmark characteristic of a disorder is that it impairs our normal or desired functioning. When the worry becomes a problem, then GAD may be a possibility. But who is someone else to say what’s “normal”? Right you are, but if you feel stressed because you’re worried, that may be the sign.
Treatments for GAD
Treatments for GAD include both therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and medications to help control and reduce your anxiety.
You may feel alone, but millions of Americans suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder each and every day.
Request more information about Generalized Anxiety Disorder today. Call (919) 803-6320 or contact us online.