generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition in which people experience a constant state of high anxiety, which does not seem to be attributed to any particular cause. Sufferers feel they are anxious about everything and have expectations of catastrophe or disaster. The worry a person experiences is usually extremely out of proportion to the risk. For instance, if a partner was late home without calling, their thought processes could include worrying they have had an accident or have died. A sufferer is unable to calm themselves down and think rationally and in extreme cases, can become completely overwhelmed and suffer panic attacks.
What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
The exact causes of Generalized Anxiety are not fully understood, but research suggests there may be several factors which contribute to its development. It’s complex and difficult to pinpoint exactly what would push one person into having GAD and not another, but several areas have been identified as relevant, particularly studies of the brain which show how people process emotion.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety can be widespread and debilitating, affecting people both mentally and physically. Not everyone who suffers from GAD will have the same symptoms or suffer to the same degree, but the most common symptom is excessive anxiety and unremitting worry which lasts for at least six months and is out of proportion to the events, circumstances or risk in a person’s life. The worry is also not specifically about certain problems, in particular, rather it is a general worry about a variety of topics, events or activities. This may then result in excessive reassurance-seeking from others.
Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
If you are suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, there are a number of different treatments that can help. It’s important to remember that GAD is a highly treatable condition and the chances are good that you will find something that improves your anxiety symptoms. You can discuss the different options with your doctor after you have been diagnosed so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. GAD treatments can involve medication, therapy and self-help options and it’s vital to look at the pros and cons of each.
Medications for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
There are a number of different medication options available if you are diagnosed with GAD. Used alongside other treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, medications can be extremely effective in alleviating and controlling the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Statistics
Current generalized anxiety disorder statistics are largely focused on the USA and Europe, however there is some limited information about its prevalence in certain other countries.When looking at GAD statistics, it’s important to note that not every country uses exactly the same diagnostic criteria for GAD. Depending on where you seek help and treatment will determine whether or not you are diagnosed with this condition. Also GAD has many symptoms which overlap with other anxiety disorders and conditions (such as panic disorder and social phobia) which can result in confusion when obtaining a diagnosis. GAD rarely occurs alone and is often linked with Depression and substance abuse issues.
More Articles About GAD
- NIMH GAD Page
- ADAA GAD Page
- Mayo Clinic GAD Page
- WebMD GAD Page
- Wikipedia GAD Page
- PsychCentral GAD Page
- Psychology Today GAD Page