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What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Nowadays, constant stress and anxiety have become a part of everyone's life. These two constantly interfere with working, processing things, or even having a little rest. However, constant stress and anxiety also indicate a harmful disorder, GAD, i.e., Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a common disorder; however, there is no doubt that constant stress and anxiety are harmful to our body and mind.

The anxiety of GAD is a general feeling of fear and restlessness that occurs continually in your life. GAD is different from Social Anxiety Disorder of any phobia that occurs due to specific triggers. GAD stays for your whole life, which is harmful to you and the people around you. It is both mentally and physically exhausting. For example, the absence of your co-worker makes you highly anxious throughout the day or when you missed a call from your friend.

GAD and Normal Anxiety: Basic Difference

Now some may think that their day-to-day stress might be GAD or related to it in some ways. However, it's not true in many cases. It is natural to feel stress about an upcoming exam or meeting or worrying about your financial situation due to some unexpected expenditure.

However, anxiety and stress in generalized anxiety disorder involve:

  • Extreme and unnecessary uneasiness
  • Constantly occupying your mind
  • It disrupts your every moment
  • Constant worrying for a prolonged period.
  • Unable to make decisions even on small matters in life
  • Disruption in day-to-day life matters such as job, social life, health, etc.

These things may seem ordinary at the start, but as the day goes by, such thoughts and stress start taking a toll on your body, leading to severe medical problems. If you are constantly under pressure and unable to relax your mind even for a minute, seek medical help.

GAD: Signs and symptoms

People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder might not experience the same symptoms but rather a combination of behavioral, emotional, and physical health problems. These problems get worse at times of stress and anxiety.

Behavioral Signs and Symptoms

  • Unable to enjoy a quiet time or relax for more than 2-3 minutes
  • Facing difficulty in concentrating even on simple things
  • Letting things go because you are unable to cope up with your feelings
  • Avoiding problems and situations that make you feel uneasy

Emotional Signs and Symptoms

  • Worrying endless throughout the day
  • Unable to stop yourself from worrying
  • No control over your mind
  • Always feel upset about the future
  • Always feeling uncomfortable
  • Have a feeling of helplessness when you don't know what's going to happen next
  • Physical Signs and Symptoms

    • Constant body ache and muscle tightness
    • Unable to fall asleep
    • Constantly feeling restless and nervous
    • Facing some stomach problems like constipation, diarrhea, or nausea

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children

    It is safe to say that children also suffer from GAD due to various reasons. But one thing that makes GAD worse in children is that they cannot realize that their constant stress and anxiety is inappropriate. GAD among children can happen due to any reason, such as:

    • The inability to predict the future events
    • Extreme competition among classmates
    • Personal factors
    • School pressure
    • The thought of not getting adequate social acceptance
    • Family problems

    Adults need to recognize the symptoms of GAD in their children to avoid any future complications.

    Symptoms of GAD in Children

    • Constant need of approval or reassurance
    • No confidence in their judgment
    • Things need to be in a perfect manner or order
    • Worrying about the future too much
    • Always live in fear of making a mistake
    • Always blaming themselves for every problem around them
    • Constantly believing that bad things are going to happen to them

    Ways to Overcome GAD

    Talk with other people
    Whether you believe it or not, talking helps you in many ways. When you share your worries and thoughts with others, you are one step closer to overcoming GAD. Interacting with someone who loves and cares for you helps you to calm your nerves. Relaxing your mind slowly diffuses the anxiety in your mind and body. This person can be anyone, a close friend, family member, or spouse. Anyone who is suffering from generalized anxiety disorder needs someone in their life who does not judge them and has time to listen to them.

    Avoid living in isolation
    Human beings need someone in their life to talk to daily. We are not made to live in isolation. Each person needs to build a strong support system. However, it does not mean that it should contain multiple people. A few reliable people are enough to share your worries. Living in isolation makes you feel overwhelmed with fears and anxiety.

    Learn a few tips
    Sometimes things get way too overwhelming to handle, and you may have no one to talk to. In such situations, one should have a few tips under the sleeve to get immediate relief.

    • Look at something that makes you feel calm and relax. It can be anything, a landscape, a picture of your friends and family, etc.
    • Listen to calm and soft music to soothe your mind
    • Spend 10-15 minutes in a park where you can enjoy the beauty of nature
    • If you have some time, then try your favorite dish for an instant boost
    • Nothing beats a massage. Whenever you feel the tension rising in your muscle, give yourself a massage for a quick relief

    Exercise and yoga are a natural and effective way to deal with your anxiety. It promotes positive thoughts in your mind and physically challenges your brain. Early in the morning, do exercise or yoga for 30-40 minutes daily to see long-lasting results. Initially, you may not see any result, but within 15-20 days, you'll see a change in yourself. Do a full-body exercise such as running, dancing, swimming, etc.

    Along with exercise, you can also try meditation as it helps you to relax your mind. Meditation has many health benefits, and doing it along with exercise is like a cherry on top. 5-10 minutes of meditation is enough to make you feel refreshed and relaxed. Meditation before sleeping also helps you to have a comfortable sleep at night. Follow simple meditation techniques which you can do at your home, office, or in any public place.

    Relaxation Techniques
    Stress and anxiety are not just short-term feelings. They stay with you for a long time. The feeling of sweaty palms, tensed muscles, uneven breathing rate, and light-headedness make things worse. Feeling all these emotions for the long term causes many medical issues. A slower heart rate, relaxed mind, and muscles stabilize your blood pressure and blood cells. One of the best things to relax your mind is the practice of deep breathing. Slow inhale and exhale of oxygen helps you to clear your mind and body.

    One thing to follow while following this advice is to limit the intake of caffeine. Caffeine has the potential to trigger anxiety symptoms leading to some psychological problems. Alcohol and caffeine make your anxiety symptoms worse, leading to a problematic life. Follow these tips to live a healthy, balanced life. These tips will help you to get enough sleep and maintain your appetite.

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