GAD - How to Find Out if You Suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder!
Generalized anxiety disorder is a long term generalized feeling of anxiousness that lasts for more than six months but doesn?t have panic attacks, phobias or obsessions attached to it People, who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, often find themselves burdened with a large number of worries and they spend a lot of their time worrying without being able to control it very wellGeneralized anxiety disorder is a long term generalized feeling of anxiousness that lasts for more than six months but doesn?t have panic attacks, phobias or obsessions attached to it.
People, who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, often find themselves burdened with a large number of worries and they spend a lot of their time worrying without being able to control it very well.
A specific characteristic of this disorder is that the intensity and frequency of the worry is out of proportion to the likelihood of the feared events happening. You will generally experience at least four of the following symptoms:
?Excessive worry for more than 6 months
?Inability to control excessive concerns
?Knowledge that your worry is excessive
?Restlessness - feeling keyed up, hyper
?Get startled or surprised easily
?Difficulties with sleep
?Difficulty swallowing or breathing
?Hot flashes or sweating
?Going to the bathroom frequently
The cornerstone of this disorder is extreme worry without justification. We all worry about things from time to time, paying the bills, family problems are health. Worrying is part of life and its fine to worry about things that are troublesome and a cause for concern.
People with generalized anxiety disorder suffer from the glass is perpetually empty and dirty syndrome and are really unable to ever see the positive or glass is half full perspective in any given situation. The worry about things going badly so dominates their day, that they are really rendered incapable of performing tasks at work or even at home.
Panic attacks happen suddenly and out of the blue and potentially leave devastating effects in their wake. GAD on the other hand, is a slow burner, it develops over time. It usually begins in childhood, adolescent or early adulthood and snowballs over the course of your adult life. Symptoms can come and go and be better or worse during different periods of your life.
Generalized anxiety disorder is more difficult to diagnose than a panic attack, which is a short, intense reaction. Even with panic attacks, diagnosis is usually made through a process of exclusion, where other physical causes are eliminated before a doctor feels comfortable stating that the extreme effects were indeed a panic attack.
With GAD the feeling is often more of a malaise, a continuous feeling of anxiousness, worry or dread. Sufferers, initially often seek treatment for the symptoms, unaware that the underlying problem is this disorder. Sufferers will go to their doctor?s seeking headache remedies, medicines for aches and pains or their sleeping difficulties.
Like some of the other anxiety disorders, doctors will often seek to assist patients suffering from GAD with medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines and beta blockers. These treatments can have some effect but most research has found that medicines used in conjunction with non-medical treatments or only non-medical treatments for less severe cases is the most effective treatment.
Like other anxiety conditions, GAD will significantly interfere with your life, your interaction with others and you job and family life. It can develop at any point in life but the focus of the worry tends to differ with age. Teenagers who develop this condition often have their worry focused around athletic or academic performance. As you age, the stresses will be a multitude of things from family to work.
For acute sufferers of any anxiety disorder, prescription drugs are an important aspect of treatment. However, for many cases and even the cases where drugs are used, it is important to take into account diet changes, lifestyle changes and thought retraining to help improve your life.
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