Generalized Anxiety Disorder — Normally generalized anxiety disorder GAD sufferers will have inappropriate and sometimes scary disturbing thoughts. These thoughts are sometimes violent or sexual in nature. What make this more disturbing are for the fact that these intrusive thoughts may sometimes involve people with whom they would never partake in such acts, such as members of their own family. Usually, the thought of getting through the day can simply trigger anxiety as soon as the sufferer wakes up in the morning.
We can experience generalized anxiety when our adrenaline levels are artificially raised through stressors, which ultimately leads to a resetting of our baseline anxiety level. What this means is that the physical body is functioning at a much higher level of anxiousness, causing a whole list of anxieties, emotions and sensations.
Generalized Anxiety GAD is much more intense than normal anxiety levels. GAD is overwhelming and can hinder sufferer with inappropriate and irrational worries and tension, even when there is no real threat to worry about.
GAD sufferers are always imagining a negative result to everything they deal with. Health, finances, relationships or their career will often be their topic of inappropriate worries.
Usually the normal response to anxiety is to cease or retreat from routine activities, this action reinforces to the anxious mind that it is alright for our anxiety to control us and for us to adjust our enjoyment of life to accommodate it. This is simply not acceptable.
This symptom is an anxiety disorder because, as already mentioned, without an underlying anxiety problems, generalized anxiety disorder simply cannot be present.
Anxiety conditions are often misdiagnosed as depression by doctors and psychologist. They are quick to reach for the for the medication prescription pad, not only is this too early but completely inappropriate treatment for an anxiety condition.
Generalized anxiety disorder is not caused by a mental or physical illness and definitely not by a chemical imbalance which requires medicinal treatment. Anxiety condition is a behavioral condition and it can not be cured by putting chemicals to the blood stream. A more targeted treatment is required to address the underlying root cause so that a permanent curative effect can take place.
Panic attacks have been described as very uncomfortable and dreadful experiences. Although these can happen without warning, there are panic attacks symptoms that one can watch out for. Breathing problems, fear of death, fear of going insane, trembling, and even a sudden wish to escape are just some of the panic attacks symptoms that a person can experience.
Those who go through panic and anxiety attacks often can seek treatment for this disorder. The cause of a panic attack can be due to a phobia or an irrational fear of something, while sometimes they come suddenly and appear to have no cause at all.
Due to the different possible causes of anxiety attacks, it is only natural to have many different possible treatments for this disorder. A person suffering from frequent attacks can get medication, therapy, or both. Although there are different types of therapies that can help a person get through the panic attacks symptoms, exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are the most common types of therapy used.
Exposure and cognitive behavioral therapy focus on the thoughts a person associates with anxiety or thoughts that worsen their attacks. From there, the therapist allows the person to see how irrational his fears are. Most therapists even expose the person to a “panic scenario”, where the person faces his fears without being at risk.
For example, say that a patient experiences intense anxiety on the road. Instead of feeding his fears of getting a heart attack or crashing the vehicle, the therapist would direct the person’s thoughts to directing the car to the side of the road and pulling over. From there, the therapist would probably instruct the person to do breathing exercises or to do something that would help the person relax.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD Symptoms and How to Cure It?
Another way to ease the panic attacks symptoms is through the use of medication. More often than not, medication is taken during therapy, although there are people who can get along fine with either just therapy sessions or medication. However, medication is almost always used for severe cases of anxiety disorders, and even then these only serve as a temporary solution to the problem.
Two types of medicines are used to help treat panic and anxiety attacks: benzodiazepines and antidepressants. People who use benzodiazepines can experience rapid relief of their symptoms, but they also run the risk of getting addicted to the drug. If a person stops taking benzodiazepines after becoming addicted to them, he is most likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Antidepressants, on the other hand, require the person to take them constantly before the effects begin to manifest. Unlike benzodiazepines, antidepressants take some time before they begin to fully treat the symptoms of a panic attack. Antidepressants have no known ill side effects and addictive properties to those who take them compared to benzodiazepines.
A person can also practice breathing exercises at home, or they can think of ways to divert their attention from a panic or anxiety attack by moving around, counting backwards from 100, or even dousing their face with cold water. Keep these measures in mind so that whenever the panic attacks symptoms strike, you’ll be ready. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a recognized and common condition.
With the levels of stress that most of us face every day, it is no wonder that this disorder could easily develop. It is good to know that it is a medical condition that can be practically treated with medications and/ or psychotherapy. The primary symptoms associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are tension, inability to relax and persistent worrying over matters that don’t call for any extreme concern.
Any person with GAD will find it difficult to control the symptoms. It is as if there is a roller coaster of anxiety running through the mind at all times and it will not stop unless the person experiencing these symptoms can find quiet isolation. Other symptoms that accompany this disorder are difficulty concentration, being easily startled, chronic irritability which could lead to drug seeking behavior, general restlessness and insomnia (Hoffman SG, 2008).
The most practical approach to treating GAD is a combination of cognitive therapy and medication. Cognitive therapy is a way or re-training the brain to react to certain stimuli in a healthy manner. For example, if the sound of a dog barking induces a panic attack, the therapist would work with someone to discover what triggers this reaction.
These triggers set off a chemical cascade in the brain that induces anxiety. By discovering the thoughts that cause the anxious reaction, the cognitive therapist is then able to help re-route the thinking process to eliminate the sensation of anxiety and panic. Often, by the time a person has reached the doctor’s office for this problem, it is necessary to use medication to alleviate the symptoms and protect the body from the dangers of chronic stress.
Currently, the primary pharmacological treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a class of drugs called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors). These medications have been proven to be the best treatment for GAD. They increase the levels of a neurotransmitter (a chemical that facilitates a specific electrical impulse in the brain) called serotonin. When there is enough serotonin in our brains, we feel content, confident, trusting and safe.
When serotonin is deficient, we feel scared, worried, shy and insecure (Pollack MH, 2008 ). SSRIs have been proven effective in countless studies. These include medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and citalopram (Celexa), among many others.
When someone has remained on one of these medications for 6-8 months, they may be taken off of the medication to determine if it is still needed. The only drawback to SSRIs is the time it takes for them to demonstrate any benefit. This could take 4-6weeks before any results are perceived.
In the interim, drugs known as benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term relief until the SSRI begins to work and the cognitive therapy starts to show results. These drugs are immediately effective within less than an hour. Alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan) and oxazepam (Serax) are some of the commonly prescribed benzodiazepines.
These are the most effective medications for anxiety disorders, but they are highly addictive, so doctors usually prescribe a small amount until other treatments begin to help.
If you are the kind of person who worries about things thatare unlikely to happen or you tend to feel worried, anxious or tense all day when there really is no reason to, then you may well be displaying a few of the symptoms of GAD.
Everyone has worries and fears about certain aspects of our lives but if your worrying is so constant that it has begun to interfere with your life, preventing you from relaxing and stopping you from carrying on normally then you may have generalized anxiety disorder.
GAD is a fairly common condition that affects millions of people throughout the world. It tends to manifest itself as chronic worrying or anxiety, a general tension and nervousness with sufferers finding it very hard to switch off and relax.
When you are suffering from generalized anxiety disorder your fear is not related to any particular thing, occasion or event. You can feel anxious nearly all the time and your anxiety can influence every aspect of your life. The feeling is ,however, no where near as intense as, for example, someone experiencing a panic attack but instead is a long lasting feeling of general anxiety that makes normal life almost impossible.
The condition is both physically and emotionally debilitating, sapping your energy, destroying any sense of well being and generally wearing you down. You will probably worry about the same things as other people such as health, family, money and work but your worries will be exaggerated out of all proportion.
Worries will constantly repeat in your head, you will be unable to switch them off.
Anyone who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder will go through their day in a constant state of worry, thinking the worst of every situation even when there are no grounds for their worries.
Being worried or concerned about things is a normal part of our lives but it is when the worrying gets out of control and begins to interfere with normal life that you have a problem. Excessive anxiety and worrying, irrational and intrusive thoughts that keep appearing in your head are signs of GAD. The anxiety can become debilitating stopping you from finding a solution.
The symptoms of GAD can be different from hour to hour and day to day. You will experience good days and bad days, you may discover that your worrying is worse in the morning while for others, last thing at night will be their worst time their worries. Generally, not everyone experiences the same symptoms but most sufferers have some or all of these symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Worries constantly running through your mind. Irrational and intrusive thinking with anxiety appearing in your head at any time.
You put things off because you feel completely overwhelmed by life and avoid social situations where you feel anxiety.
It is important to get a professional diagnosis and getting yourself checked over. Generally speaking, if you have tended to be a nervous person or be anxious in the past you may well have developed GAD but similar symptoms are also caused by other medical conditions and medication
GAD can be treated and people go on to make a full recovery!. All of this is good news. Psychiatrists around the world have a plan to treat GAD. You don’t have to live with this problem or be afraid of treatments.
Hoffman SG, S. J. (2008). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , 69;621-632 [Pub Med].
Pollack MH, K. G. (2008 ). The Pharmacology of Anxiety Disorders. Massachusets General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry , Chapter 41