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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The following information is news only and does not reflect the practice or opinions of the doctor.

All of us worry at some time or the other- about work, health, finances- bur we are not obsessed with it, unless there is definite cause. People with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) worry all the time even when there is no concrete reason for it. It is “exaggerated and excessive” form of anxiety that anticipates disaster at every turn. The anxiety levels are so unrealistic and disproportional that they dominate everything else. Thus it affects the way individuals think and function and even disrupts relationships.


However, the concept of GAD has perhaps never been understood properly and it is often bypassed as “unnecessary fretting”. GAD, however, can be complicated, for those suffering from it always feel out of control and just cannot switch off.


Let's look at some of the myths and facts surrounding GAD


1. There's nothing you can do to help GAD: MYTH!

Chloe Brothering, Hypnotherapist and Author of The Anxiety Solution doesn't agree and states that GAD does respond to treatment. In fact, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy appears to have produced positive results. Good old exercise can fit in as a great alternative as this helps you to move and get going. In doing so, the tension in your body is released and the excess adrenalin is burnt off. This means that you can be cured of 'habitual worrying.” Hilda Burke, integrative psychotherapist, couples counselor and life coach, advises meditation to still the anxiety in you.


2. Because it's 'generalized', GAD isn't really that bad: MYTH!

Don't be complacent about GAD- its aftermath can be terrifying and crippling. GAD patients talk of the impending sense of disaster they feel, describe the darkness through which they walk, the frightening sense of doom- evincing so many emotions one after another. Burke clarifies and notes that GAD sufferers are always hyper alert, looking for threats and disaster in everything- no matter how routine it is. GAD can get really BAD.


3. GAD is very common: FACT!

Strangely and surprisingly, you'll find that all of us have gone through the GAD corridor at one time or the other, with women over 55 being affected more than men. A large proportion of people with GAD will not only experience depression but also other anxiety disorders. Apparently, hormonal fluctuations and other changes during adolescence can trigger GAD.


4. It's really obvious when you've got GAD: MYTH!

It's not obvious and cannot be recognized just like that. This 'background illness' can stash itself away under the cloaks of normal platitudes that you mouth every day. Burke highlights the fact that the chances of developing GAD is magnified if a relative suffers from the same condition.


5. GAD can attempt to protect us from deeper fears: FACT!

Although GAD is generally viewed as a negative state, Burke clarifies that the anxiety is only a protective shield of a deep seated trauma or fear that the conscious mind refuses to recognize. Talk therapy helps to get rid of that fear.


6. GAD has no real physical symptoms – MYTH!

Says who? Anyone who has experienced GAD knows what its like- nausea, fatigue, trembling, racing heart, a sense of heaviness are just some of the things the person experiences. Brotheridge notes that the stress hormones- adrenaline and cortisol are responsible for those sensations.


7. It's not possible to simply 'pull yourself together' or 'snap out of' GAD – FACT!

That's difficult or next to impossible as GAD is a combination of a physical reaction and also a mental one- not so easy to snap out of. However, calming acts like listening to music or reading a book can soothe GAD. GAD is real and people do need help to reduce their heightened anxiety levels.


Remember, depression is treatable- so don't delay medication. For psychiatry help contact Psychiatry Concierge.