Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Everything You Need to Know

Anxiety disorders have become pretty common these days, especially post-Covid-19 pandemic. Due to lockdown and financial distress, many are still struggling to make the ends meet and as you know, such conditions bring along nothing but anxiety.

Among all the anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) remains the most common. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects more than 6.5 million adults in the US annually.

It often co-occurs with major depressive disorder; however, it’s not limited to that. In this article today, I’m going to list down all the symptoms and treatment options for GAD with the purpose to raise awareness. Have a look:

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There are many symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. In order to officially diagnose it, one needs to have the following symptoms, most of them if not all, for at least six months. These symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of fear and worry
  • Muscle tension and irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Recurring fatigue
  • Trembling, shaking, or sweating
  • Feeling wound-up, jittery, or on-edge
  • Sleep and appetite abnormalities

Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Thankfully, generalized anxiety disorder is completely curable. From allopathic medicines to therapy and lifestyle rehabilitation, things work in a combination when treating GAD. Mentioned below are some of the treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are prescribed to treat symptoms like social withdrawal and shyness in GAD.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are another widely used kind of anti-anxiety medications. They can ease muscle tension, reduce stress, and ease anxiety.
  • Benzodiazepines are also recommended to people with GAD, especially those who experience sleep-related problems like insomnia or hypersomnia.
  • Certain herbs and plants also work well for anxiety relief. Chamomile, starbud, and passionflower are three of the best ones for persistent anxiety and stress.
  • Regular exercise plays a critical role in anxiety management by increasing happy chemicals in the bloodstream.
  • Meditation is also beneficial in this regard as it naturally eliminates stress and promotes mental as well as spiritual well-being.
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy is again very helpful for people with GAD. It alters the perception of things that trigger anxiety in the first place.
  • A balanced diet is mandatory when reviving from GAD. Stimulants like caffeine must be avoided as they contribute to your anxiety levels.

Risk Factors of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There’s no defined cause of generalized anxiety disorder or any mental health disorder for that matter. Researchers are still trying to figure it out; however, numerous things can contribute to the development of this disorder. They are as follows:

  • A history of bullying or child abuse
  • Direct or indirect exposure to physical trauma
  • Excessive use of tobacco or alcohol
  • Loss of a loved one or frequent financial strains
  • A family history of anxiety disorders

The only satisfying thing about this disorder is that it’s completely curable. All you need to do is get yourself professionally diagnosed and follow the prescribed treatment. I wish you good luck, guys!

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