Generalized Anxiety Disorder

by Mackenzie M. January 26th, 2012 | Mental Health
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Do you ever find yourself worrying about a big test, a job interview, personal finances and health, or even family members? These worries are completely normal; however, if your worries become excessive, uncontrollable, or even irrational about these normal stressors, or even every day problems, that may be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Imagine going to the doctor for a little bump you feel on your body. For someone suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, they assume automatically that the bump must be cancer, and continue to obsess and worry over the bump even after the doctor has said it is normal. This is one of the uncontrollable worries produced by the disorder. The excessive worry involved with the disorder is completely disproportionate to the actual reason for worry. This worry can interfere with daily life, and can even manifest itself in dangerous physical symptoms. Although some amount of worrying and stress is normal, below I will discuss some symptoms to look for that may point to Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Again, everyone worries about health issues, money, death, family relations, work, and school issues, but someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is overly concerned with these worries, to the point that they cloud out a basis for what is reasonable to worry about. Even more unsettling is that this disorder can manifest itself in a variety of physical symptoms. For example, people suffering form Generalized Anxiety Disorder can experience fatigue, fidgeting, headaches, prolonged upset stomach, muscle aches, unexplained pains – even restlessness and rashes. The inability to control worries is the main cause for all of these symptoms.

It is possible to develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder at any time in life, but it especially occurs in late childhood to middle adulthood; therefore, trying to live with the disorder can and will be a long-term challenge. Many times, Generalized Anxiety Disorder appears with other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Again, many signs and symptoms include worrying an extreme amount about every day things, having trouble controlling these worries, being aware that you worry more than you should, and even having a hard time concentrating and being irritable. In the past, there has not been a very strong focus and acknowledgement of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but there is several treatment options available today.

The first step to getting diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is to talk to your doctor about symptoms you are experiencing. The doctor will perform an exam and make sure another problem is not causing the worries. If referred to a mental health specialist, the treatment options are psychotherapy and medication. Therapy sessions will be the most helpful form of treatment available, as they will help you release many worries. The medication will also assist with relaxation and can be very helpful in controlling Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

If the symptoms above sound like you, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. There is help available.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.