Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Everything You Need to Know

Anxiety disorders are quite prevalent these days. People of all age groups and genders are living with some kind of anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is among the most common anxiety disorders. 

In this article today, we’re going to talk about generalized anxiety disorder. I will highlight its symptoms, treatment options, and risk factors so that you know everything about the disorder. Knowing all these details will surely help you steer clear of it. Have a look: 

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), generalized anxiety disorder affects around 6.8 million adults in the US. It is further said that the disorder is more common among females than men. 

Now you may be surprised to know that the symptoms also differ from person to person, men to women; however, a few common symptoms of GAD are as follows: 

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry 
  • Having muscle tension and irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating; mind going blank 
  • Being easily tired 
  • Persistent restlessness or wound-up 
  • Trembling, sweating, and shaking 
  • Having an increased heart rate 

Treatment Options for Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

The primary treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder are anti-anxiety medications, lifestyle changes, and psychotherapy. The best way to get rid of the disorder is by using all these treatment options in combination. Here I’m going to list them down in detail to help you further:

  • Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to treat chronic anxiety, helping you control all your feelings of worry and fear.
  • Tranquilizers are prescribed to people with anxiety in case they’re unable to sleep due to uncontrollable worry. 
  • Medicinal herbs can be used as a natural alternative to anti-anxiety medications. Medical marijuana is highly recommended for chronic anxiety and delivered in many states in Canada and America.
  • Lifestyle changes are mandatory. For example, you need to exercise for at least 30-40 minutes a day to keep your stress levels low and anxiety at bay. 
  • Meditation is also beneficial as it hits the root cause of anxiety, making you live in the moment and not dwell over the events that happened in the past. 
  • A healthy diet can help naturally help keep anxiety away. It must not include caffeine as stimulants typically increase your anxiety levels. 
  • Psychotherapy usually helps people who overthink situations and are apprehensive about their surroundings. It gives them a new perspective on life.

Risk Factors of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Mental health disorders usually have no known cause and it’s the same for generalized anxiety disorder. Experts have failed to figure out its exact cause; however, they have provided us with some risk factors that are associated with generalized anxiety disorder. Some of them are: 

  • Gender as women are more likely to get GAD 
  • Age as it often co-occurs with dementia 
  • A history of mental health disorders in the family 
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse 
  • Stressful life events, including physical or emotional abuse

Lastly, please remember that GAD is completely curable with the right treatment; hence, you must ignore the symptoms and consult a mental health expert right away. I wish you good luck!