Generalized Anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder causes excessive and unrealistic worry, panic or feelings of tension at times when there is little or nothing to cause these feelings. This anxiety becomes uncontrollable, even under normal circumstances, preventing the sufferer from carrying on with daily activities. Unlike some mental disorders, generalized anxiety disorder can also cause a number of physical symptoms, therefore adding to the inability to function properly during routine circumstances.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder suffer varying symptoms, but several are common and can quickly disrupt a sense of normalcy. Patients who suffer from this mental disorder may find that continued feelings of anxiety and fear lead to deterioration of energy levels and may cause physical  symptoms as well. The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate generalized anxiety disorder:

  • Uncontrollable worry or dread regarding things that have little chance of happening
  • Fear of losing control of your situation, such as job, loved ones or material possessions
  • Inability to relax and cope
  • Problems with sleep, such as insomnia or restlessness
  • Dread of future possibilities or situations that 'could' happen
  • Anxiousness and panic that disrupts your job or home life
  • Difficulty concentrating on daily tasks
  • Constant aches and muscle tension
  • Gastrointestinal problems, nausea, diarrhea
  • Jumpiness
  • Lack of energy and loss of desire to get involved in activities
  • Depression

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There are no specific causes of generalized anxiety disorder that have been medically proven, however, research studies have pointed to a few particular scenarios which may lead to this mental disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder may be brought about at an earlier age due to family history, genetics or continual stress of life. Symptoms may begin and progress more slowly than with other, more sudden attacks produced by alternate mental illness. Additionally, continued use of drugs and alcohol seem to play a major role in development of generalized anxiety disorder. Many patients with this illness have a history of substance abuse.

Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Because different mental disorders often share symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose generalized anxiety disorder. Patients experiencing symptoms should be evaluated by a medical physician for possible physical disorder or disease that may be disrupting brain functionality. If nothing is found, a psychologist or psychiatrist may make an assessment based upon family medical history, behavior patterns and symptoms. Depending upon several factors, a method of treatment can then be discussed.

Treatment Options for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Because of the wide scale of symptoms caused by generalized anxiety disorder, treatment options will vary based upon individual case. A professional recommendation is best for determining which of the options may help to alleviate anxiety and allow the patient to lead a more normal life, and often a combination of different methods will have the best rate of success. Some of the options available for treatment are as follows:

  • Medical treatment, such as anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants or drug rehabilitation
  • Psychotherapy which can help the patient learn proper skills for recognizing and overcoming anxiety and panic
  • Additional types of therapy can teach awareness of the disorder and ways to cope in a more effective manner
  • Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into one's daily routine may help to bring brain chemicals back into balance
  • Meditation and other alternative therapies help to bring focus on healing body, mind and spirit
  • Getting involved in a support group with others suffering from generalized anxiety disorder can help with feelings of isolation or lack of control