Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is among the most anxiety disorders these days. It’s a psychological disorder characterized by feelings of persistent fears and worries. As mentioned by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects almost 7 million adults every year in the US.
Furthermore, it’s said that the prevalence of the disorder is more common among females than men. Plus, it often co-occurs with major depressive disorder; hence, one needs to be very careful with the symptoms and diagnosis.
In this article today, I’m going to share with you everything there is to know about generalized anxiety disorder. In case you or any of your loved ones ever go through it, I’m sure my guide would be helpful. Let’s break it down:
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder has many symptoms that can affect your day-to-day life. The following are a few common ones:
- Persistent worries and fears
- Sweating, trembling or shaking
- Sleep and appetite disturbances
- Dry mouth or shortness of breath
- Muscle aches and tension
- Frequent dizziness and fatigue
- A sense of impending danger or panic
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking straight
Treatment Options for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
It requires at least six months for you to be officially diagnosed with GAD. Once diagnosed, you can move towards the treatment. Mentioned below are some of the effective treatment options for GAD:
- Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to combat persistent feelings of sadness, worries, and fears.
- Selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are usually the preferred choice for symptoms of panic and other mood-related symptoms.
- Sleep-inducing medications are prescribed in the case of insomnia
- Medical herbs, including chamomile, passionflower, and lemon tek mushrooms, can work as a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medications
- Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation exercises and meditation are highly encouraged
- A healthy diet is mandatory in the case of chronic anxiety as stimulants like caffeine and carbohydrates only increase anxiety levels
- Appropriate sleep is another must as lack of sleep can make your anxiety worse
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is helpful to control the worrisome thoughts and emotions
- Alternative medicine, such as acupuncture and body massage, are also helpful in relieving stress and lowering anxiety levels
Risk Factors Associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As you know, mental health disorders have no known cause and it’s the same for generalized anxiety disorder. Nobody can determine its cause; however, several things can increase your odds of getting the disorder. They include:
- A history of mental health illnesses in the family
- Direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic event
- Familial conflicts or divorce
- Life-changing events, including having a baby
- A history of alcohol or drug abuse
- Age and gender as women are twice more likely to get GAD compared to men
The Final Word…
As mentioned earlier, GAD can take a toll on your everyday life, making it impossible for you to function actively throughout the day. However, you don’t have to worry now as the disorder is entirely curable. Just make sure to consult a psychiatrist right away and don’t forget about the lifestyle rehabilitation along the way. Allopathic and herbal remedies go hand in hand when it comes to treating mental health disorders. I wish you good luck, my friends!