Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Does it seem like you’re constantly worrying about something? While most of us are preoccupied with real-life concerns some of the time, if you feel like you’re constantly worrying, you may be suffering from a condition known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

People with GAD:

  • Suffer from excessive worry about a number of things for at least six months
  • Have trouble controlling their worry
  • May be unable to pinpoint the cause of their anxiety
  • May feel edgy, have trouble concentrating, feel irritable, get tired easily, or have trouble sleeping
  • May have symptoms such as trembling, nausea, sweating, muscle tension, or difficulty swallowing
  • Find that their worry interferes with their daily lives–for example, they may be unable to “shut off” the worry in order to focus on work or leisure

GAD generally starts in childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood. No one knows for sure what causes it. GAD can persist for a long time without treatment, so it may be advisable to seek help.

It’s important to see a medical doctor to rule out other medical conditions which may be causing the anxiety. Also, since there are other anxiety disorders with similar symptoms, an evaluation can help rule these out. And remember that using alcohol to cope with anxiety will only make things worse.

If you have GAD, you may be pleased to learn that effective treatment is available. Treatment may include therapy and/or medication. Counselors can help you learn a variety of relaxation techniques which may be helpful in managing your anxiety.