Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Allison Krick
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a long lasting chronic disorder that is not focused on one situation. People who suffer from GAD experience non-specific fear and worry, and are overly concerned. It can be caused by medical or substance abuse, genetics or even stress. Before being diagnosed, nurses and physicians must rule out drug-induced anxiety. GAD occurs in women more than men, and can occur at anytime in a person’s life. The main symptoms are constant worrying about everyday situation even when there is little or no reason. They can worry about many different situations such as: Relationships, Home life, Work, School etc. People with GAD can recognize that their fears are overpowering them but they cannot control them. Other symptoms are not being able to concentrate, not being able to sleep, irritability, Stomach Problems, Tiredness and even Fatigue. You can also experience muscle tension, headaches and shakiness. I actually have been diagnosed with GAD. My symptoms included: Shakiness, headaches, the constant worry, stress, I have severe stomach problems, I get extremely exhausted during the day and also I suffer from substance abuse, which they believe is the main cause of my disorder. Luckily I haven’t had this disorder my whole life, I’ve only had it for about 3-4 years. When I get my anxiety attacks the only thing I can do is go to my room and sit on my bed, which serves as a safe place for me so I can calm down. Sometimes it takes a day or two
The difference between “normal” fear and worry and GAD is that everybody is going to experience worry and fear throughout their lives. With GAD you worry more frequent and it’s more disruptive. Also with “normal” worrying you are able to control it, but with GAD it’s completely uncontrollable. There are several different ways to treat GAD. You can Self-help, Get therapy, and also get medication. Some different medications used to treat GAD are Buspirone which is an anti-anxiety drug and is considered to be the safest drug for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Benzodiazepines which are also an anti-anxiety drug that takes about 30 minutes to kick in which is a major advantage. There is also Antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft. Unfortunately it takes up to 6 weeks for antidepressants to start working. I myself am taking Zoloft and Vistril. Vistril is used for many different purposes but in my case it is used for my anxiety and to help me sleep. Some self-helping strategies are: Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, and Touch. With vision it suggests looking at sentimental pictures or go to a museum or something that will help you relax. Hearing involves listening to soothing music, or your favorite band to help you relax. Smell you favorite candle burning, or your favorite perfume etc. Therapy is the main key to helping with GAD, and for most people is works just as well as medication. I attended therapy for 4 years and I feel that it helped me a lot. Between the therapy and the medication, I’ve had less panic attacks and I’ve worried a little less often.

References:
http://helpguide.org/mental/generalized_
anxiety_disorder.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000917.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety_disorder

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