While it is normal to have periodic feelings of anxiety and stress during tougher moments in life, having chronic or intense waves of these feelings on a daily basis can be signs of a more prominent generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be developed in anyone, whether they are an adult or child, and can come with similar symptoms to panic attacks, OCD, and other anxiety disorders. Seeking an anxiety therapist in Vancouver can help you to further diagnose these feelings and determine the sources of your anxiety.
The following is a more in-depth look at generalized anxiety disorder, as well as symptoms and treatments.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that can come with a large variety of symptoms, both mentally and physically, including the following:
Mental Health Symptoms
- Chronic feelings of anxiety and worry about one or multiple things at once
- Overthinking and blowing small events into larger worst-possible scenarios
- Taking bad news and uncertain futures with extreme difficulty
- Having trouble letting things go and lingering on old scenarios
- Constant feeling of restlessness and inability to relax
- Having trouble concentrating on tasks, often feeling like your mind is “blank” when trying to think.
Physical Health Symptoms
- Tension, cramps, and aches in the muscles
- Profuse sweating
- Twitching and physical trembling
- Upset stomach, diarrhea and IBS
- Being startled very easily
Treating General Anxiety Disorder
Unfortunately, there is no certain way to anticipate a trigger for general anxiety disorder. However, there are some ways you can help lessen the impact it can have on you.
Reach Out Early
Like many other mental health conditions, a generalized anxiety disorder can worsen and become more intense, leading to further issues. By seeking out help at the first signs you feel you are becoming overwhelmed for more than a passing moment, you should consider speaking to a therapist or other mental health professional.
Log and Express Your Feelings
It can be very helpful and therapeutic to keep a journal or personal log for your daily life, or at the very least, when you’re experiencing moments of high stress and anxiety. By converting your feelings into words, you can help refine and focus on what is on your mind. These logs can also later be used to help you better convey your feelings to your healthcare professional to share your more unfiltered thoughts more directly.
With a general anxiety disorder, a common symptom is to think about everything troubling you and everything you need to accomplish, all at the same time, which can result in nothing being accomplished at all. When possible, sorting your tasks in order of priority can help you create a visual cue to what needs to be done and recenter yours prioritizes. After the list is created, try your best to only focus on the item at the top of the list and only move on to the next after it has been completed.
Turning to substances such as drugs, alcohol or nicotine in an attempt to calm the nerves can actually cause the opposite effects and worsen anxiety. Additionally, if there is an addiction to any of these substances, withdrawal symptoms can also cause further stress and anxiety.
By identifying your symptoms, understanding your general anxiety disorder, and seeking professional care, you can help to reduce its effects.