People normally experience stress and anxiety because of different reasons. However, when a person worries and fears constantly or experiences uneasiness, nervousness, and heightened tension without logical reason or apparent cause, these are possible signs of a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), a common anxiety disorder.
In this post, you’ll learn more about the signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, including some tips and reminders to keep you guided with this mental health condition.
Defining Generalised Anxiety Disorder
What is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)? It’s a chronic mental health problem that can be due to chronic stress or a tragic or life-threatening event. The symptoms could be similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. Also, it may occur with mood or other anxiety disorders.
Patients who suffer from GAD reach a point that their ability to function, think, perform daily activities, sleep, and relax are affected. It’s a long-term challenge for people to live with this psychological condition. GAD may improve with medications or psychotherapy, as well as relaxation techniques and lifestyle modifications.
Physical Signs And Symptoms Of GAD
The physical signs and symptoms of GAD include increased vital signs, which is a normal bodily response to stress with the activation of stress hormones, cortisol, and epinephrine. When these hormones are at a high level, the person feels nervous, irritable, and trembles. It’s best to immediately book an appointment with a mental health professional for a thorough psychological assessment if these signs and symptoms are frequently experienced.
Here are the physical signs and symptoms of GAD:
- Increased sweating
- A feeling of being too tired or fatigue
- Problems sleeping or sleep deprivation
- Muscle aches and tension
- Trembling or feeling twitchy
- Diarrhea or signs of irritable bowel syndrome
Cognitive And Psychological Signs And Symptoms Of GAD
There are things that people do due to anxiety, which can heighten feelings of nervousness and fear. These people need expert psychological help from a psychiatrist and psychologist.
Check out these examples:
- Inability to let go of fear or worry
- Difficulty handling uncertainties in life
- Inappropriate and persistent worrying, stress, or anxiety
- Expecting worst-case outcomes
- Perceiving events and situations as threatening
- Overthinking plans and possible solutions
- Intense fear of making mistakes or wrong decisions
- Difficulty focusing and thinking rationally
- Inability to relax or feeling restless most of the time
Famous Personalities Who Suffered From GAD
Even the rich and the famous, like celebrities, are not exempt from anxiety disorders and other psychological problems. The likes of Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried, and Lena Dunham were once diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder.
Check out how the GAD stories of these actresses:
She already had anxiety issues as early as seven years old, wherein she also had her first panic attack because she was convinced that their house was burning down. She started to see a therapist and was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). She managed to deal with her anxiety by reaching out to her close friends and loved ones and talking with her therapist, as well as through meditation.
She admitted taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a commonly prescribed medication, to treat her depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
The renowned writer, director, actress, and producer Lena Dunham also suffered from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In fact, she has revealed her condition in a show and her “Not That Kind of Girl” memoir.
Diagnosing Generalised Anxiety Disorder
So how is GAD diagnosed? Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a real challenge to diagnose, wherein it can mimic other mental health conditions, but without panic attacks involved. People around would think that the person is just worrying too much, which leads to them not being diagnosed and treated early.
DSM-5 is a diagnostic tool used in evaluating psychiatric disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder. Psychiatrists use proven diagnostic assessments in making accurate diagnoses and in ruling out other possibilities.