Generalized Anxiety Disorder is defined as:
Someone suffering from General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is someone who appears to worry about a lot of different things or who always needs to be in control. Their worry is not about any one thing in general however, or they would likely not fall in this category.
The key feature of this disorder is worrying to the point of being less productive in life – being so much of a “worry wart” that you get less things done, your relationships are less healthy, or you do worse in school or work. This can be in many forms but often shows itself in being “over prepared”, always need to know whats going on, or needing to be involved with everything.
GAD can manifest itself in many physical forms as well, some of the most common physical signs are frequent headaches, stomach aches, constipation or diarrhea, muscle pains, and excessive sweating.
To have GAD yourself can feel like you always need to worry about everything in life in order to make sure that things work out the way that they are supposed to. Many times GAD comes on so slowly over the course of many years, that its hard to notice that you have become a constant worrier until someone points it out to you. Other times the worrying feels like a desire to control the environment and those around you.
Anxiety disorders are caused by our minds desire to prepare for the future. Being smart and emotional creatures, we have developed a benefit to understanding what “might” happen in the future so that we can be prepared for it. Simply put, GAD is caused by spending too much time thinking about, trying to control, or trying to change what “might” happen.
GAD can also be a conditioned response – if at one point in our lives we had a negative event that occurred over a stimulus our minds can learn to worry about it happening again. Like Pavlovian dogs, we can train ourselves to be anxious around certain people, places or events. When we train ourselves to be anxious in general, we call it GAD.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is the only true form of “cure” for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Some medications can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, but they are not a cure – talk to your primary care physician for more information. However, we recommend using medications in the treatment of general anxiety disorder only in combination with talk therapy.