People with generalized anxiety have recurring fears or worries such as about health, the future, finances or a persistent sense that something bad will happen. The fears and worries can create tension, stress, irritability, inability to concentrate and sometimes difficulty sleeping.
What are the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
- Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months. Worry can be about a number of events or activities including worry about everyday, routine life circumstances, such as job responsibilities, health and finances, the health of family members, misfortune to one’s children, or even minor matters like household chores or being late for appointments. The focus of worry may shift from one concern to another.
- It is difficult to control the worry.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three of the following symptoms:
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
- Being easily tired.
- Difficulty concentrating, or mind going blank.
- Muscle tension.
- Sleep disturbance. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep.
- The anxiety, worry or physical symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in normal functioning in social, work or other settings. The worries are pervasive, pronounced and distressing, last some time and frequently occur spontaneously.
What are the causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Many individuals with generalized anxiety disorder report that they have felt anxious and nervous all of their lives. However, the onset of GAD can happen at virtually any time with the median age of onset at 30 years old. The symptoms tend to be chronic but can fluctuate between being more or less intense, sometimes due to life circumstances. There is no one clear cause of GAD. However, about one third of the risk of developing generalized anxiety disorder is genetic. Basic temperament is a contributing factor with traits of harm avoidance, neuroticism and behavioral inhibition being associated with GAD. Adversities in childhood and parental overprotection can also contribute to experiencing generalized anxiety disorder.
How can you treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Dr. Dufford and Anxiety Treatment Services provide integrative and comprehensive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder including individual therapy, group support and behavioral fieldwork. Modalities include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, and Meditation/Mindfulness.