What is General Anxiety Disorder

*This blog is a continuation of our series on Anxiety disorders.

As one of the most popularly understood of the Anxiety disorders, General Anxiety Disorder is often what comes to mind when people imagine what Anxiety is. Through this series, we’ve discovered that “Anxiety” is an umbrella term used to define a number of similar anxiety based disorders, each made up of their own unique criteria. This week we’ll dive into the topic of General Anxiety Disorder to understand it and dispel myths or misunderstandings.

General Anxiety Disorder

Mayo Clinic defines General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as:

“Excessive, ongoing anxiety and worries that are difficult to control and interfere with day-to-day activities”

Mild anxiety or worry is a normal part of life for most people, GAD often involves worrying when there is no logical reason too, excessive rumination or worrying about a topic multiple times a day or week.

Who is Affected by General Anxiety Disorder it?

General Anxiety Disorder is felt across all groups of society but can be especially prevalent in people who have a family history of anxiety, abuse in childhood, prolonged periods of stress, chronic stress or situational stress (like an illness or death).

GAD may also be linked to excess consumption of substances such as caffeine, drugs and alcohol.

The Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder

 Symptoms of GAD include:

·      Fatigue/ exhaustion

·      Muscle tension

·      Nausea/shaking/rapid heartbeat/ light headedness

·      Difficulty sleeping

·      Difficulty concentrating at work, school or while performing tasks

GAD can often be accompanied by other mental health disorders including depression or other anxiety based disorders.

The Treatments for General Anxiety Disorder

 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – CBT is used to identify anxiety inducing thoughts and understand how to change them. It is considered a gold standard treatment for anxiety disorders and can be practised with a trained therapist or counsellor.

 Meditation – There are a variety of medications which can be prescribed by a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. Medication and therapy like CBT often work hand in hand to treat GAD, but they do not need to be utilized together to be successful.

As with any other mental health condition, if you feel that you need some extra help, be sure to reach out to a trained professional like a Social Worker or Psychologist! To speak with a member of our team or to see how Reflection Centre can help you, contact us today!

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