Anxiety Disorder

Everyone feels anxious at one time or another, especially during times of excessive stress. However, if your anxiety is long-lasting and so severe that you are having a difficult time performing your daily activities, you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder is not age specific: It can affect both children and adults. It can also affect people of any social or economic background. While many of the symptoms of GAD are similar to such disorders as panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder is very different from these other conditions.

Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be quite difficult, especially if you have experienced it for a long period of time. In many cases, people who suffer from GAD also have other emotional problems or disorders. Fortunately, there are many things that can help including medication, counseling, relaxation techniques, coping skills and lifestyle changes.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms you will experience if you have generalized anxiety disorder may vary from the symptoms that another GAD sufferer experiences. In fact, your symptoms may even vary from one day to another or one hour to the next. Nevertheless, if you consistently experience one or more of the following symptoms, you may have GAD.

*Obsessing Over Situations Even When They are Minor
*Constant Fatigue
*Difficulty Sleeping
*Restlessness/Feeling Tense
*Difficulty Concentrating
*Short Tempers
*Feeling Nervous and/or Fearful
*Racing Heart and/or Difficulty Breathing
*Nausea, Sweating and/or Diarrhea
*Muscle Soreness

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Unfortunately, just as with most other emotional disorders, it is not fully understood as to what causes GAD. However, it is thought that neurotransmitters found in your brain probably have something to do with the condition. Additionally, the following factors may play a role in developing anxiety disorder.

*Negative Life Experiences
*Extreme Stress
*Heart Disease
*Thyroid Problems
*Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Common Treatments for Anxiety Disorder

As stated above, there are many ways to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Two of the most common methods are psychotherapy and medication. In fact, in many cases, a combination of the two can significantly decrease your symptoms. During psychotherapy, you and your therapist will strive to find the underlying causes of your anxiety.

You will also work together to create effective ways to handle stress and learn how to make any necessary lifestyle changes. Medication will be explored as well to determine if it will be beneficial to your unique situation. The most common medications prescribed for GAD sufferers include antidepressants, Buspirone and Benzodiazepines.

What You Can do at Home

There are some things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms of anxiety disorder too. Many of these methods require you to put some effort into changing your behavior and/or lifestyle. However, these techniques have been found to be highly effective, especially when combined together.

*Eating Healthy Foods
*Maintaining a Regular Exercise Regime
*Practicing Relaxation Exercises
*Avoiding Cigarettes and Alcoholic Beverages
*Avoiding Sedatives
*Practicing Positive Thinking

Now that you know what anxiety disorder is and what may cause it, you are better prepared to make some positive changes in your life. When you make any necessary lifestyle changes and seek proper treatment, you may even see almost-instant results! Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be very difficult, but keep in mind that you are not alone and there is help.