One who suffers from GAD feels anxious about everything in life and can't stop himself/herself from it. The worry is often out of proportion and living a normal life itself becomes a tough thing to accomplish, even if there is no apparent threat.
Symptoms of GAD can include excessive tension, unrealistic fear about some problem, restlessness, irritation, headache, nausea, fatigue, sleep disorder, etc. A person suffering from GAD also has panic disorder, clinical depression and when it goes to the extreme condition, he/she may suffer from problems like alcohol misuse.
What Causes GAD?
GAD can be caused by genetics, brain chemistry and environmental factors. Genetically, a person may get the problem if members of his/her family have it. It can also be caused by a brain chemistry.
GAD is associated with an abnormal functioning of the pathways of certain nerve cells that connect parts of the brain that do the job of thinking and are related with emotion. The connection of these cells depends on the chemicals like neurotransmitters that transfer information from one nerve cell to another.
If the pathways that connect the brain parts fail to function properly, then it could result in anxiety. GAD can also be caused by any tragic experience in life like a death in the family or any bad event. Use of addictive substances can also cause GAD.
Diagnosis Of GAD
Diagnosis of GAD can be done through both psychological analysis and a physical examination. The psychiatric history is taken into account and the duration of the symptoms of the GAD are also monitored.
It will be seen whether the symptoms and dysfunction indicate a specific disorder pattern lasting over a considerable period of time, say for six months.
Treatment Of GAD
Treatment of GAD includes a combination of medication and behavioural therapy. The drugs used to treat GAD are generally used on a short-term basis, since they are addictive and can have side effects. These help in neutralising the intensity of an anxious feeling and reduce physical symptoms like muscle tension and restlessness.
The behaviour therapy, on the other hand, aims at bringing a change in the thought patterns that cause anxious feelings. There are also techniques to relax, which help in reducing the muscle tension.
GAD, though can't be prevented, can be treated in a way by lessening the symptoms by doing the following:
• Reducing intake of caffeine, cola and chocolate.
• Consulting the doctor before going for any medicines, as many of them contain chemicals that can increase the anxiety symptoms.
• Exercising daily
• Eating healthy food
• Seeking help of a counsellor, in case one has undergone a stressful experience
• Practising meditation and yoga