Each year over 4 million adult Americans suffer Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is a condition characterized by exaggerated and excessive anxiety over day-to-day events, which can begin in childhood, adolescence, or even adulthood.
Statistics show women being more vulnerable to GAD than men.
A majority of patients with generalized anxiety disorder symptoms have an inward tendency to anticipate disaster and constantly worry over finances, health, school, work, family, and much more.
As time goes by and the condition worsens, the unrealistic thoughts and baseless worries experienced by these patients dominate their thoughts and literally hijack their lives. This interferes with their normal functioning including school, work, and relationships.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In addition to affecting the pattern of thoughts, anxiety has physical symptoms which include:
- Excessive tension and worry
- Restlessness and an edgy feeling
- Muscle tension
- Concentration difficulties
- Frequent headaches
People suffering from GAD also experience other anxiety disorders such as phobias or panic disorders, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder among other problems, which can then lead to alcohol abuse. Whenever you experience a combination of any of these signs you should find a therapist for generalized anxiety disorder without delay for professional guidance and support.
Causes of GAD
Research is still on-going to uncover the exact cause of GAD. However, a number of factors have been closely linked with the condition some of which include brain chemistry, genetics, and environmental stressors.
Genetics - Family history contributes significantly to the development of GAD. Studies have established connections where GAD is passed on in families from the parents to children.
Brain Chemistry - In the brain, there are nerve cell pathways linking certain brain regions involved in emotion generation and thinking. The functioning of these nerve cells depends on chemicals known as neurotransmitters which transmit information from one nerve cell to another. Any abnormality along these pathways can affect a person’s mood and may also cause anxiety.
Environmental Factors – Stressful and traumatic events such as physical abuse, death of a loved one, retrenchment, and divorce may lead to GAD. Where a person with GAD is exposed to stressful experiences, their condition may worsen.
Diagnosis and Treatment of GAD
Through online therapy, GAD can be successfully diagnosed and treated. The therapists will start by asking questions concerning your psychiatric and medical history to try to identify trends and leads. The counselor usually bases his or her diagnosis on the duration and intensity of symptoms. Where the symptoms have been present for a period not less than six months and they have interfered with daily living, chances are very high the patient could be suffering from GAD.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are specially trained professionals who have the ability to diagnose and treat mental conditions including GAD. Online therapists often use cognitive-behavioral therapy as one strategy in tackling this condition.
In this therapy, the patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder are taken through procedures where they learn how to recognize and change their behaviors and thought patterns. This helps in limiting and correcting distorted thinking thereby giving the affected people an opportunity to look at worries in a more realistic way. Other techniques introduced during the therapy such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques may also help in reducing the tension typical in these patients.
The Virtual Therapist Network is a resourceful platform to help you find a therapist for GAD counseling and help you find yourself again.