General Anxiety Disorder

GAD

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What is GAD?

Excessive worry and exaggerated anxiety about everyday life events without obvious reasons to worry. A person diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder typically expects disaster and often finds themselves worrying about health, money, family, work, or school.

Symptoms

The most prominent symptoms of GAD include: persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that are out of proportion to the impact of the event, restlessness, unable to relax, inability to let go of worry, feelings of being keyed up or on the edge.

Less prominent symptoms of GAD include: shaking, rapid heart beat, sweating palms, muscle tension, fatigue, or exhaustion.

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Causes

According to Mayoclinic, the exact cause of General Anxiety Disorder is not fully understood but it could be linked to genetics as well as triggered by risk factors. Some causes of GAD could be: personality or if a person is timid, negative, and/or avoids anything dangerous. According to Healthline.com, excessive use of caffeine or tobacco, being a victim of child abuse, recent or prolonged exposure to stressful situations, and/or family history of anxiety, could all lead to this disorder as well.

Diagnosis

To diagnose someone with GAD, blood or urine tests are most commonly used. Other tests such as a gastric reflex test is used sometimes to check for GERD which has been found to be present with anxiety disorders. As well as x-rays and stress tests to check for heart conditions. Some psychological questionnaires are known to be used as well asking the person suffering about their medical history and possible symptoms.

Treatment

To treat General Anxiety Disorder you have a few choices. One can go through psychotherapy where, cognitive behavioral therapy will help one to focus on specific skills to help gradually lead them to lost activities that they once enjoyed before having anxiety. This improves symptoms often associated with anxiety and will help build on initial success. Another option would medication such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, or sedatives. Some of the medications listed above though may take a few weeks to kick in and could possibly lead to addiction if the person taking them has had alcohol or drug problems such as abuse.

Prevalance

General Anxiety Disorder has been known to more widely affect females rather than males. So much so that women are twice as likely to get it. GAD affects 6.8 million adults and 3.1% of the population in any given year. Any one at any age can get this disorder but, is usually starts when one is a child or teenager. Overall, about 5% of people have had General Anxiety Disorder at one point in time in their lives.
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Prognosis

GAD comes with a long list of symptoms and it possible for some of these symptoms to be cured, but they could come back at any time if he/she goes through any rough patch in their lives that is similar to what led them to GAD in the first place. Though medication and psychotherapy can help, it is not a sure fire way of curing this disorder, but it can help.

Interesting Facts/ Stoires

-People who will still benefit from treatment are the ones who arent actually aware of their own General Anxiety Disorder. Due to this, prevalence will rise.

-GAD affects people physically not just mentally


Ongoing Research

-You can help yourself get better by, reducing caffeine intake, not using street drugs, exercising, getting enough rest, and keeping a healthy diet.

-Joining support groups can also help ease stress levels often associated with GAD.

Controversies

-Some of the symptoms may change that are said to be associated with this disorder. Examples of these include, disturbance and irritability due to them being insufficiently specific.

-Work groups plans to rename the disorder, "Generalized Worry Disorder," to highlight the hallmark system of the disorder.