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GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD): CAUSES, SIGNS, SYMPTOMS

Feeling anxious is normal if you have a life full of worries, however, if you have excess, ongoing anxiety and fears that are complicated to control and bear, and are hindering your day-to-day activities then you might be suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder. 

GAD is a predominant anxiety disorder characterized by insistent worry, nervousness, and strain. Unlike a phobia, when your fear is linked to a specific object or situation, resulting in a general sense of dread or unease that pervades your entire existence.

It is likely to develop GAD as a child or adult, it is a mental disorder that has symptoms similar to panic disorder, OCD, or other types of anxiety disorders but they are all different conditions.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF GAD?

A lot of researches have been done to extract the causes of GAD but to this date, experts can’t find an exact and identified cause for the development of GAD in children, teens, or the elderly, however, it is linked to the following:

GENETIC FACTORS

GAD is thought to run in families. A person can inherit his parent’s black hair, green eyes, and nearsightedness, just as the person can inherit a parent’s feeling to be anxious. According to current studies, one-third of the risk of developing GAD is genetic.

BIOLOGICAL FACTORS

Neurotransmitters are specific substances in the brain that carry messages to determine how a person feels. Serotonin and dopamine are two key neurotransmitters that can cause anxiety and depression when they are interrupted. Distress and anxiety are also linked to several areas of the brain, according to research.

TEMPERAMENT FACTORS

A person with a shy temperament, or who avoids anything dangerous, is more likely to develop a generalized anxiety disorder than others.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Traumatic situations such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, and changing jobs subsidize developing GAD in individuals. When stress gets out of hand, the disease might get worse. Anxiety can be exacerbated by the use of addictive substances (such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine) and the withdrawal from them.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER?

GAD is diagnosed by a mental health clinician who aids in determining whether the symptoms you are facing are related to anxiety disorders or any other medical condition.

Your doctor will start by asking you questions about your medical and mental health history. You may also be exposed to a physical examination. Although lab tests cannot diagnose anxiety disorders, they can assist doctors in determining whether a medical ailment is to blame for the symptoms.

The doctor will make a diagnosis of GAD based on how severe and long-lasting the symptoms are, as well as any difficulties they pose in daily life. The doctor will then evaluate whether the patient suffers from a specific or generalized anxiety disorder. Symptoms must confine with daily life and be existing for more days than not for at least 6 months to be diagnosed with GAD.

GAD-GENERALIZED-ANXIETY-DISORDER-IN-CHILDREN-AND-TEEN-Health-and-fitness-mental-health-mental-problems-depression-stress-stress

SIGN AND SYMPTOMS OF GAD

You experience severe distress in social, work, or other areas of your life as a result of your anxiety, concern, or physical symptoms. Worries might shift from one to the next and alter through time and with maturity. Symptoms vary from person to person depending on the age, gender, and severity of the mental illness, for some the mental illness might be moderate and for some, it might be intense. Following are the common symptoms:

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS

 

  • Worry or anxiety over a variety of issues that is out of proportion to the severity of the occurrences.
  • Overthinking plans and solutions to account for all possible worst-case scenarios.
  • Perceiving events and situations as dangerous, even if they aren’t.
  • The distress of taking wrong decisions and inconclusiveness.
  • Incapability to put fear aside or let go of it.

BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS

 

  • Inability to relax
  • feeling restless
  • feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Have trouble concentrating or focusing on what you’re doing
  • Keeping yourself away from events that make you nervous
GAD-GENERALIZED-ANXIETY-DISORDER-IN-CHILDREN-AND-TEEN-Health-and-fitness-mental-health-mental-problems-depression-stress-stress

PHYSICAL SIGN AND SYMPTOMS

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy
  • Nervousness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or other stomach problems
  • Irritability

HOW LONG DOES GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER LAST?

Anxiety is a typical symptom of a variety of mental health issues, including depression and phobias. In numerous ways, GAD is distinct from these illnesses. People suffering from depression may have anxiety on occasion, whereas those suffering from a phobia may be concerned about a specific issue. People with GAD may worry about a variety of issues for a long time and lasts for more than 6 months or more, or they may be unable to pinpoint the source of their anxiety.

  • Because you can’t concentrate, you’ll be unable to do activities swiftly and efficiently.
  • Takes your time and diverts your attention away from other activities.
  • zap your vitality
  • Increase your chances of becoming depressed
  • Digestive problems, such as ulcers
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Chronic pain and illness
  • Insomnia
  • Heart-health issues

GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER WITH OTHER MENTAL DISORDERS

A person suffering from Generalized anxiety disorder is more likely to have other mental health issues, making diagnosis and treatment more difficult. The following are some of the mental health problems that are frequently associated with generalized anxiety disorder:

  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide
  • Substance abuse

HOW TO PREVENT OR OVERCOME GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER?

There’s no way to know for sure what causes someone to acquire generalized anxiety disorder, but if you do, you can take the following steps to lessen the severity of symptoms:

  • Get aid as soon as possible. If you delay, anxiety, like many other mental health issues, can become more problematic to cure.
  • Keeping a diary, helps you to track your personal life, helping you and your mental health professional to figure out what’s stressing you out and what’s making you feel better.
  • Make a list of the issues that need to be addressed in your life. By carefully managing your time and energy, you can lessen anxiety.
  • The use of injurious substances should be circumvented. Anxiety can be caused or exacerbated by the use of alcohol, drugs, or even nicotine or caffeine. Quitting any of these substances can be stressful if you’re addicted to them. If you’re having trouble quitting on your own, consult your doctor or seek help from a treatment program or support group.

VERDICT

Generalized anxiety disorder is an emerging mental health disorder among all age groups, the more early you diagnose it the more early you can treat it better.  Self-analyzing and understanding mental health issues are highly important, they are as important as physical illness, a healthy mind nourishes more than a mind with an illness.