Anxiety is a part of life and completely natural from time to time. However, there is a difference between feeling anxious over an anticipated event and experiencing so much concern on a daily basis that it interferes with your quality of life. If uncontrollable distress or nervousness sounds familiar, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may be to blame.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the several diagnosable forms of anxiety that inhibit a person from enjoying life to the fullest. The generalized anxiety disorder definition explains that GAD is characterized by at least six months of uncontrollable anxiety, usually about more than one aspect of life (finances, family, relationships, etc.). In conjunction, fear is accompanied by at least three physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue.
In short, the generalized anxiety disorder criteria determine that GAD symptoms include excessive worry when no danger is present. Additionally, these feelings are not able to be attributed to any other condition, such as substance abuse or some other medical condition.
Signs of generalized anxiety disorder can sometimes be difficult to decipher from everyday concerns. Some real-world examples of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include the following:
If this list of GAD symptoms resonates with you, rest assured that you are not alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 20 percent of Americans receive an anxiety diagnosis at some point in their lives. In regards to GAD specifically, generalized anxiety disorder statistics reveal that nearly seven million Americans (about three percent of the population) will be affected by this type of anxiety during any given year. Exact generalized anxiety disorder causes are difficult to pinpoint. However, there are a few risk factors to be aware of.
There is no exact formula to determine the causes of GAD. This type of anxiety builds slowly over time and is most likely due to a combination of biological and situational factors in a person’s life. However, a few patterns do exist that indicate that GAD is more likely for some people than others. Risk factors for GAD include:
Regardless of the cause of GAD, generalized anxiety disorder treatment is available and greatly increases the chances of recovery. To discuss a generalized anxiety order diagnosis, a primary care physician or mental health professional trained in how to diagnose anxiety can provide assessments to help determine the likelihood that generalized anxiety is present. If the general anxiety symptoms meet the GAD criteria, GAD treatment options will be discussed.
Anxiety is often overlooked and left untreated. However, the outlook for those who suffer from GAD is good as long as treatment utilized. While there is not a specific generalized anxiety cure, numerous effective treatment options assist in the management of this type of anxiety.
In general, GAD treatments methods can be categorized by the following:
In most cases, a combination of all three treatments will provide the best results. It is important to mention that GAD commonly co-occurs with other mental health disorders, such as depression or substance abuse disorders. When this occurs, treatment should address each disorder and how they affect one another in order to optimize recovery.
At Georgetown Behavioral Hospital near Cincinnati, Ohio, our treatment team is well versed in managing all types of anxiety disorders. At our inpatient mental health facility, one of the goals of anxiety treatment is to learn what triggers your personal anxiety so you can understand how to manage anxiety symptoms when they present themselves. We accomplish this with careful consideration of your personal experiences through our inpatient mental health program. In addition, through our dual diagnosis program, our treatment team is able to address any potential co-occurring substance abuse disorders, which frequently accompany anxiety.
You do not have to suffer from anxiety. With Georgetown Behavioral Hospital, you can begin healing today.