Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hectic schedule, busy lives, cut-throat competition, and unlimited demands have all got us to the risk of anxiety attacks. We worry about the issues, without understanding their gravity. Even the smallest problem can easily become a big irritant in our daily lives. We end up racking our brains over things that may never happen. The worries become too much to bear and reach an unreasonable height when they become uncontrollable. On this backdrop, antidepressants, and antianxiety pills have become the fastest selling over-the-counter medicines in America.
Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is characterized by irrational worry about the possible situations that are never likely to occur. They invade the mind to an extent that we cannot look beyond this worry. Thus, it begins to interfere in our day-to-day chores, dislodging efficiency. People suffering from GAD often worry about, or think too much about, extreme disasters, catastrophes, health issues, money, family problems, and problems related to relatives and friends. The constant anxiety manifests into muscle pains, insomnia, swallowing difficulty, difficulty in breathing, irritability, and sweating.
There is no accurate cause for GAD. A recent study shows that a couple of factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental stress, culminate into this disorder. Biological factors, passed on from generations, might also be a reason for the development of GAD. Another cause for this disorder is stated to be brain chemistry. The disproportionate level of some neurotransmitters in the brain can be associated with GAD. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers, which transmit information from one nerve cell to other. If they are out of balance, then the brain cannot register the messages correctly and hence reacts absurdly in the situation. The last element causing this disorder, is environmental stress or external factors. Trauma, stressful events, death of a loved one, divorce, excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine or drugs may lead to anxiety disorder.
The symptoms of GAD are similar to those of any other anxiety disorder. However, they are fluctuating. The symptoms need to show for about six months to be properly diagnosed as generalized anxiety disorder. A person going through GAD, may experience a good and a bad time of the day. The GAD symptoms can be divided as physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms include, soreness, muscles ache and tensions, unsteadiness, constant fidgeting, insomnia, nausea, and getting tired easily. The psychological symptoms include irritability, dreadful feelings, difficulty in relaxing, inability to control anxious thoughts, lack of concentration, and a fear of rejection. Among children, persistent self-criticism, worry about future events, uncontrollable thinking about family, peer pressures, and thinking about school performances, become the causes. These may not lead to GAD but they surely accelerate the process of getting there.
In more ways than one, this type of anxiety disorder can be cured. In some cases self-help would be enough to treat the person and for a few others, professional and medical aid may be necessary. For self-help, start with challenging your worries. Make a note of your worries in a notebook and analyze them. Examine the possibilities of their occurrence, as in, are they really going to happen? Is what you are thinking, a realistic situation? If yes, then what options do you have to avert it? Are you capable of taking care of the problem by yourself? And if not, then whose help can you take? Answering these questions will give you a bank of your own confidence to bank on! For those suffering from acute GAD, medical and professional help is advised. Getting the perfect combination of self-help and medical help will be an ideal way of dealing with GAD.
There are four million adult Americans suffering from GAD and the number is still on the rise. The problem catches the young during their early childhood or adolescence. Women are more easy targets of GAD than men. The fastest, simplest, and cheapest way to deal with the GAD monster is inculcating spiritual means of living, early in your childhood. A balanced diet and healthy physical activities too helps in tackling with anxiety.