Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Do you worry about money, health, or the well-being of your loved ones? Well, everybody deals with these common issues from time to time. But, if you find yourself always worrying about everything and anything, then you may have generalized anxiety disorder.
This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by overly worrying about lots of issues you have no control over. Generalized anxiety disorder usually interferes with your ability to sleep or relax. One experiences a constant state of worry.
Generalized anxiety disorder makes you feel uneasy about life in general. For instance, if a loved one doesn’t pick up the phone, you may start panicking that something bad has happened to them.
About 3.1% of Americans are affected by generalized anxiety disorder with women being twice as likely to suffer from it than men.
Studies have revealed that if you have generalized anxiety disorder, you have a higher likelihood of developing other mental health conditions such as stress, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity as well as irritable bowel syndrome and substance abuse.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With this type of anxiety, you simply can’t shake off your concerns. The severity of generalized anxiety disorder comes and goes. When the condition is mild, it doesn’t interfere a lot with your life. You’re also able to hold down a job. However, when it intensifies, simple tasks become unbearable and you find it difficult to cope with everyday life.
So, how can you tell if your anxiety is excessive or just normal?
It’s normal to worry about how you’ll cope financially when you suddenly have to carry out major repairs in your home. It’s also normal to be worried about a tough upcoming exam.
If you have generalized anxiety disorder, a report in the news about a devastating hurricane in a different country, for instance, may keep you awake all night long worried about how you and your family might also face the same predicament, even if the probability is extremely minimal. You’re likely to spend the next couple of days or weeks constantly worrying about the safety of your family. You will experience excessive anxiety that’s persistent, excessive, and intrusive.
Generalized anxiety disorder may present itself mentally as well physically. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder:
- Constant worrying, feeling tense, and the inability to relax
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating on things
- Avoiding stressful situations
- Body aches or muscle tightness
- Non-stop apprehension or dread and perpetually feeling overwhelmed
- Intolerance for uncertainty, being restless, jumpy, or on edge
- Intrusive thoughts that cause you to worry
- Feeling like you’re unable to control your emotions
- Difficulty sleeping or suffering from insomnia because of worrying endlessly
- Trembling, shaking, and heart palpitations
- Dry mouth, sweating, and fatiguing easily
- Stomach upset including diarrhea and nausea
Getting A Therapist with BetterHelp
Talk therapy also referred to as psychotherapy, is an effective treatment option for generalized anxiety disorder. One of the methods applied in psychotherapy is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
In CBT, the therapist helps you understand and recognize the pattern of the negative thoughts you experience. The therapist then teaches you coping mechanisms to help you feel at ease and manage your condition.