Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Discussion

People suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, tend to become anxious and fret about routine and mundane tasks, events, and occurrences.

The symptoms of GAD include expecting the worst outcome in any given situation; excessive worrying about health, finances, and relationships; and in general about professional and personal life circumstances. Most of these worries are unrealistic and larger than life; therefore, everything becomes a herculean task. Affected persons tend to be blowing things out of proportion and generally fearing life and events.

Other symptoms characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder include mounting tension and worry when things do not work according to expectations, emotional outbursts marked with feelings of almost always being tensed, as well as highly irritable and pessimistic attitude in life. In addition, physical symptoms include increased muscle tightness, headaches, nausea, sweaty palms, tremors, frequent urination, fatigue, and the inability to sleep well at night.

People suffering from GAD also experience other forms of anxiety disorder, such as panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias. They are also at a higher risk of abusing drugs and alcohol.

Some of the main causes of anxiety disorders include chemical imbalance in the brain and external factors like stress arising from various sources. Chemical imbalance in the brain results in inadequate levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norephinephrine. This imbalance is responsible for dysfunctional neurotransmitters, causing inappropriate functioning of the brain. Stress factors include the loss or death of a loved one, professional and personal setbacks in life, and other traumatic life events. Persons with a family history of generalized anxiety disorder are also at a higher risk of inheriting this condition.

In addition to the above, people who abuse drugs and alcohol are prone to anxiety and depression. This is because, after getting used to these substances, their body and mind suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms and are unable to cope with any further psychological or physiological changes.

Like most other mental conditions, generalized anxiety disorder is also treated using a combination of counseling, psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy. Counseling sessions will help affected persons face challenges without getting overwhelmed. Psychotherapy involves various forms, such as cognitive and behavioral therapy. Medication includes anti-anxiety medication, mild tranquilizers, and benzodiazepines. Besides these, mild anti-depressants could also be added to the treatment regimen. As drugs come with many potentially dangerous, even fatal, side effects, we feel that their use as treatment for any type of depression should only be carried out as a last resort.

Close friends and family must also gently introduce the concepts of physical exercise, yoga, and meditation to persons suffering from GAD. This will help relieve stress and calm them down considerably. Eating a balanced diet which includes a lot of fresh salads, fruits, and fresh juices, too, contribute to their mental strength and balance.

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