Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder that is characterized by chronic tension, nervousness, and worrying. Unlike phobias where your fears are attributed to a specific trigger, generalized anxiety is more diffused. In simpler terms, it gives you a general feeling of unease or dread about everything in your life.
The kind of anxiety you’ll get with GAD is way less intense than a full-on panic attack but it will last longer. This is what makes living a normal life with GAD difficult and relaxing next to impossible. People with GAD and ordinary people will be concerned about the same things, like family, work, health, and money. Those with GAD just manage to take worrying to a new level.
There are a number of self help programs available for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and we’ve reviewed the main ones so check out what we consider to be the Best Treatment For Generalized Anxiety or take a look at the particular treatment program that we recommend:
Differentiating Normal Worry & Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Everyone worries and this is a normal. It is natural to be anxious about certain things in your life like how you will do with your SATs or how will you keep up with your bills payments. The difference between normal worry and GAD is that the latter will have you experience worry that is excessive, intrusive, persistent, and debilitating. For instance, after watching the evening news and hearing about terrorist threats, an ordinary worrier will feel unease temporarily. Those with GAD will probably be up all night and will continue to worry about terrorist threats for days, running worst-case scenarios in his head.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms associated with GAD vary and fluctuate. Sometimes they are better at certain times of the day, and sometimes you might feel like you only have bad days in a week. Stress will not lead to GAD but it can worsen symptoms so you also have to manage your stress levels. Additionally, not everyone with generalized anxiety disorder will have the same symptoms, although most will experience a combination of physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms. Some of the symptoms associated with GAD include:
- Physical tense feelings, muscle tightness, body aches, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, restlessness, feeling edgy, diarrhea, nausea, and other stomach problems
- Behavioral inability to relax, difficulty concentrating, uncomfortable with being by yourself, procrastinating due to feeling overwhelmed, and avoiding situations that trigger anxiety
- Emotional constantly worrying, feeling helpless at controlling anxiety, intrusive thoughts, can’t tolerate uncertainty (there has to be a plan!), and pervasive feelings of dread
Dealing With Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Having GAD can be very frustrating but do not lose hope because it is not impossible to manage. You will have to really make an effort and it will be difficult but it can be done. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way anyway so there is no need to be overwhelmed. To help you get started, here are some tips to guide you as you seek treatment for GAD:
- Look at your concerns in a new light;
- Get to work practicing relaxation techniques;
- Actively learn how to calm down quickly;
- Connecting with others to understand that you are not alone; and
- Changing your lifestyle for better health.
Generalized Anxiety Self Help Treatments
There are a number on the market today but we have one that we particularly recommend – follow the link below to read all about it and how it works: