Anxiety & Stress

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. Anticipating disaster and becoming overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work are common. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.

People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.

When their anxiety level is mild, people with GAD can function socially and hold down a job. Although they don’t avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder, people with GAD can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities if their anxiety is severe.

Other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse can accompany GAD, which rarely occurs alone. GAD is commonly treated with medication or cognitive behavioral therapy, but co-occurring conditions must also be treated using the appropriate therapies.

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