Generalized Anxiety Disorder


(GAD) is marked by continuous worry and anxiety over everyday things, and physical symptoms such as insomnia, increased perspiration, fatigue and muscle tension or aches.  Some people are “twitchy”, easily startled and irritable. Many have trouble sleeping.

The anxiety is not focused on any one situation, event or person.  It is a chronic and exaggerated worry, obsession and tension – with no apparent cause. Most people with GAD know their worries are exaggerated and irrational, but they can’t stop the anxiety.

Constant sweating, nausea or diarrhea and headaches are also common. Most people with GAD have difficulty sleeping – either falling asleep, or waking up and not being able to go back to sleep.

Many people with GAD have a general sense that something bad is about to happen.

Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Mild cases of GAD often respond well to counseling and psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy takes a practical approach to dealing with worries. The counselor works to help you identify false negative beliefs and guide you to more rational, positive beliefs.

Long before modern psychiatry discovered the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, St. Paul said, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

However, cognitive behavior therapy helps less than one-third of patients. Moderate to severe cases of GAD require medication to address underlying chemical imbalances. Antidepressants that increase serotonin levels are most commonly prescribed. Doctors often prescribe short-term use of anti-anxiety medication until the anti-depressant medication restores chemical balance. Once the chemical balance is restored, cognitive therapy may provide additional benefits.

Nutrition, exercise and healthy stress management help every type of depression and anxiety disorder.
Read Chronic Stress Remedies for more information

When to see a doctor

The Mayo Clinic provides the following criteria for when to see your doctor: 1

-You feel like you're worrying too much, and it's interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life

-You feel depressed, have trouble with drinking or drugs, or you have other mental health concerns along with anxiety

-You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — seek immediate emergency medical treatment.

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Anxiety Disorders Introduction
Chronic Stress

If you are having suicidal thoughts, call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency ward.

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