Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is defined by persistent and excessive concern about a variety of topics. People suffering with GAD may be unduly anxious about money, health, family, job, or other difficulties. Individuals suffering from GAD have a tough time controlling their anxiety. They may worry more than appears necessary about real occurrences or may assume the worst even when there is no obvious reason for fear. GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to regulate worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms. This distinguishes GAD from worry, which may be confined to a single stressor event for a shorter length of time. In any given year, GAD affects 6.8 million individuals, or 3.1 percent of the US population. Women are more than twice as likely as males to be impacted. The condition develops gradually and can occur at any stage of life, however the risk is greatest between childhood and middle age. Although the specific etiology of GAD is unknown, research suggests that biological factors, family history, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, all have a role. When anxiety is intense, some people have difficulties doing even the most basic everyday duties.
If this sounds like something you or your loved ones are currently living with, click through to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of this condition.
1. Worry excessively about everyday things
Anxiety is a common occurrence in life. Many people are concerned about their health, finances, or family troubles. However, persons with GAD are more frequently anxious or frightened about these and other things, even when there is little or no reason to be concerned. GAD is characterized by a continuous sense of worry or dread that interferes with how you live your life. It is not the same as having occasional worries or experiencing anxiety as a result of difficult life situations. GAD patients endure regular anxiety for months, if not years. The mere prospect of getting through the day might cause anxiety. People with GAD don’t know how to break the loop of concern and believe it is beyond their control, even though they are typically aware that their anxiety is more than the circumstance merits. Because all anxiety disorders may be related to a problem accepting uncertainty, many persons with GAD attempt to plan or control circumstances. Many individuals feel that worrying prevents terrible things from happening, thus they believe that giving up concern is harmful. Physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches might occur at times.
People with GAD can function socially, have full and meaningful lives, and be gainfully employed when their anxiety level is modest to moderate or with therapy. Many people with GAD may avoid situations because of the disease, or they may miss out on opportunities because of their anxiety (social situations, travel, promotions, etc).