Tips for Health

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

By on July 8, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a word that describes the feelings of worry, nervousness, fear, apprehension, restlessness or anxiety. The normal feelings of anxiety often serve as an “alarm system” that alert you of danger. For example, imagine that you come home and find a burglar in the living room. Your heart beats fast and your palms are filled with sweat. Your mind is then accelerated. In this situation, anxiety can provide a heightened state of attention that helps you out of danger. In normal situations but a lot of work, anxiety can give you the energy to do things.

But sometimes, anxiety may be out of control and give a sense of awe and fear for no apparent reason. This type of anxiety can disrupt your life.

Are there different types of anxiety?

Yes, anxiety can be a general feeling of concern, a sudden attack of panic or fear of a situation or object.

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder is the constant anxiety that is not related to any particular situation or event, or is out of proportion to what you would expect. For example, a person with generalized anxiety disorder may worry constantly for a child who is perfectly healthy.

About 4 million U.S. adults have generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, for its acronym in English. Women are more likely have this than men. GAD usually begins to affect people when they are between 20 and 25.

How do I know if I have GAD?

Most people worry from time to time and these occasional worries are normal. If you have GAD, you worry so much that it interferes with your daily lives, and feel tense and worried most days. Other signs of GAD include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Irritability.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Feeling tired easily.
  • Restlessness or feeling nervous or about to explode.
  • Seizures.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.

If you feel tense most of the time and have some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Chances are, your doctor will review and ask you some questions to make sure that there are no other causes for this symptoms. Sometimes, certain types of medications can cause GAD. You may also have these symptoms if the thyroid gland is overactive or if you are depressed. However, if your doctor finds no other cause of your symptoms, you may need treatment for GAD.

How is GAD treated?

People with GAD must learn ways to cope with anxiety and worry. Talk to your family doctor if you think you have an anxiety disorder. This can help you create a plan to develop skills to cope with anxiety. You may need some counseling to help you determine what is causing so much tension. In addition, you may need to take medication to help you feel less anxious. Your doctor may recommend treatment that is right for you. The following are tips for coping with anxiety:

Check your concern. Choose a place and a time to think about your concerns. Do it in the same place and at the same time every day. Spend 30 minutes thinking about your concerns and what you can do about it. Try not to occupy your mind with what “might” happen. Focus more on what actually happens. Then let go of worry and continue with your day.

Learn about ways to relax. These may include muscle relaxation, yoga or deep breathing.

 

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