Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that takes a long period of time to develop and is caused by months or even years of living with anxiety. GAD is term used for anxiety disorders where either the root cause of the anxiety is unknown or is made up of many different things. GAD causes you to feel anxious about a range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.
People with GAD feel anxious most days and find relaxing very difficult. Anxious feedback loops are also prevalent whereby the sufferer moves continually from one anxious thought to another.
GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. These vary from person to person, but can include:
- feeling restless or worried
- having trouble concentrating or sleeping
- sense of dread or impending doom
- a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- muscle aches and tension
- trembling or shaking
- dry mouth
- excessive sweating
- shortness of breath
- stomach ache
- feeling sick
- pins and needles
- difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread. When suffering with GAD over a long period of time it is common to develop other anxiety related conditions like OCD and phobias. These phobias can include agoraphobia and social phobias .
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful, and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
If you’re anxious because of a specific phobia or because of panic disorder, you’ll usually know what the cause is. For example, if you have claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), you know that being confined in a small space will trigger your anxiety.
However, if you have GAD, it may not always be clear what you’re feeling anxious about. GAD sufferers can experience lots of different types of anxiety at the same time like anticipatory anxiety, health anxiety, intrusive thoughts and phobias and therefore it is difficult to pinpoint the root cause of the anxiety. Not knowing what triggers your anxiety can intensify it and you may start to worry that there’s no solution.
The good news is that if you think you are suffering from GAD or know someone that is the condition is completely reversible. By following The Panic Shutdown Method people suffering from GAD can make a full recovery very quickly.
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