Generalized Anxiety Disorder vs. Anxiety

Light,Wooden,Tiles,Spelling,Out,Gad,Atop,An,Elegant,Marble Anxiety is normal. The feelings of nervousness, fear, or worry vary depending on the circumstances — they can last for hours, sometimes days, but they do not paralyze you or stop you from living your life. And once the threatening situation is over, the anxiety resolves. This is not the case for people with generalized anxiety disorder. Instead, they experience chronic, often crippling anxiety that can make every day feel like an insurmountable challenge. Overcoming GAD can be done through therapy, self-help skills, and, sometimes, medication.

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

This psychiatric disorder is characterized by uncontrollable and often excessive worry about your health, work, family, finances, and other aspects of your life. If you have generalized anxiety disorder, you may find it difficult to control how much you worry about life. It can be persistent, distressing, and lasting for months or even years. It usually interferes with your quality of life.

GAD triggers vary from person to person, and they often change over time. You might have multiple concerns endlessly bothering you, making it difficult to concentrate, achieve your goals, and even get enough sleep at night.

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Doctors have not determined the causes of GAD. However, they believe that it could be caused by abnormalities in the brain that may or may not be hereditary. Sometimes, hormonal imbalances could be the cause. In some cases, environmental factors, such as extreme stress or trauma, could exacerbate generalized anxiety disorder.

Furthermore, being raised by a parent with GAD increases your chance of developing it later.

Symptoms of GAD

The symptoms of GAD are similar to the symptoms of anxiety, except they last longer. Symptoms are divided into two categories: psychological and physiological.

Psychological symptoms may include:

  • Perpetual worry
  • Excessively worrying about small things
  • Inability to relax
  • Not being able to pinpoint why you are anxious
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Startling extremely easily for frequently
  • Difficulty concentrating

Physiological symptoms may include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Twitching muscles
  • Chest pain or heart palpitations
  • Gastrointestinal distress

Your counselor or doctor can diagnose GAD by doing a medical history and a psychological evaluation. Some of the criteria that might signify GAD include being overly anxious for at least six months, having difficulty with daily activities, being able to control the anxiety, and having anxiety related to another medical issue.

While self-screening is helpful to start a conversation with your care provider, it is important to receive a formal diagnosis if you believe you have GAD. This will ensure you are given the most accurate, clinically supported treatment.

Virtual Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida

Healthy Hearts and Minds is licensed to serve people in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. To find out more about general anxiety disorder, speak with a counselor at Healthy Hearts and Minds. To schedule a consultation, please call 703-539-2457.

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