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Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

by Ana

It is really natural to get worried in the stressful times. Some people get more and more worried even on little things. If this situation lasts for about 6 months or more then it could be a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is also known as GAD. This disorder has affected about 7 Million people in America. Most of the people don’t even know they are suffering from this disease, if they get to know about their disease then they will be able to lead a good and comparatively happier life.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Following are the some of the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Emotional Symptoms

The main symptom of this disease is continuous tension and anxiety. Patients are unable to focus on the reason why they feel tensed. Sometimes people may worry about normal matters like bills, relationships and other health issues. All these issues may interfere in your sleep, capability to think positive and you may also get disturbed due to insufficient sleep or this disorder.

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Physical Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The problems in body may arise due to excess of tension.

This disorder may lead to following physical symptoms

  • Tension in muscles
  • Pain in muscles
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trembling
  • Twitching

Risk of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Most of the people spend a lot of their time in worrying on activities like troubles of life, money, job and relationships. This sets Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a part of their life as they can’t stop worrying. You are not able to relax and enjoy any occasion. In severe cases, Generalized Anxiety Disorder can make your life difficult.

People of any age may suffer from this disease. This disorder develops slowly. The symptoms mostly occur between childhood and middle age. Generalized Anxiety Disorder may affect more women as compare to men.

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This disorder is transferred from generation to generation through Genes. If these genes are passed on then people are at higher risk for this disease. Scientists say that DNA, environmental and psychological factors may also lead to this disorder. Researchers are also investigating if the Brain chemicals including Neurotransmitters and pair of structures in the Brain known as Amygdalae contributes to this disorder.

Diagnosing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There is no specific laboratory test for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms. The patients should honestly tell doctor about symptoms of this disease. You may be suffering from this disorder if you have been suffering from anxiety from last 6 months.

Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This disorder can be treated with the different Psychotherapies, medicines, self care and herbal remedies etc.

Some of them are as follows


A talk therapy is quite effective in treating this condition. It is also known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. In this therapy, a Counselor may help to recognize your bad thoughts and actions. CBT may also include an assignment to write the thoughts that may lead to excessive anxiety. Patients may also learn calming techniques. In this way patients may feel better just in 3 to 4 months. A combination of medicine and CBT is best for the treatment of this condition.


Antidepressant medicines are best for lowering the anxiety. Medicines take about 4 to 6 months to make you feel better.

Try to discuss about the pros and cons of medicines with your doctor in advance.

Self Care for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Patients can improve their treatment by making few changes in their habits.

These changes may involve

  • Try to avoid Caffeine and some cold medicines; they can enhance the symptoms of anxiety.
  • Try to get sufficient rest and eat healthy foods.
  • Try to relax yourself with the relaxation techniques including Yoga and medication.
  • Try to do exercise regularly. Physical activity can have calming effect on the human body.

Complementary Remedies for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Massage is a relaxing technique for most of the people. 1 study shows that massage can control the symptoms of this disorder. Listening to music can also reduce these symptoms.

Herbal Remedies for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

An herbal remedy, Kava may help in reducing the anxiety. Patients should talk to their doctor before starting any herbal remedy because some herbal remedies may have harmful effects that may interfere with the medications of this disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Other Disorders

People suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder may develop depression, Alcoholism and addiction of drugs. If any other illnesses occur, patients have to get treatment for that illness first. It is normal for the people suffering from this condition to suffer from other anxiety disorders too including Panic Disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Social Phobia.

  1. Panic Disorder

    People suffering from this disorder may have attacks of terror.


    Symptoms of this disorder may include

    • Pounding Heart
    • Nausea
    • Sweating
    • Dizziness
    • Chest pain

    This disorder affects about 6 Million people in America and it is a treatable anxiety disease.

  2. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    People may suffer from this disorder after experiencing any bad incident including rape, abuse, War or other natural disasters.


    Symptoms of this disorder may include

    • Vibrant flashbacks
    • Loss of interest

    People suffering from this disorder may not have affection with anyone again. They may become violent.

    This disorder affects about 8 Million Americans.  This condition can be treated with the medicine and counseling.

  3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    People suffering from this condition lead to trouble thoughts that cannot be controlled.


    Symptoms of this disorder may include

    • Washing Hands repeatedly
    • Locking doors repeatedly

    The people suffering from this disorder know their rituals don’t make sense but they simply can’t stop doing it. This disorder affects about 2 Million Americans but it can easily be treated with the medication and psychotherapy.

  4. Social Anxiety Disorder

    People suffering from this situation may feel over panicked and always remain conscious about social situations.


    Symptoms of this disorder may include

    • Extreme panic before social events
    • sweating
    • blushing
    • Nausea
    • Difficulty in talking

    This disorder affects about 15 Million American and this disorder can be treated with Psychotherapy and medications.

Other Phobias

Other phobias related to this condition may include heights, closed places like Elevator, bridges, dogs, Fire, flying and Water. About 19 Million people have some Phobias.

Support to Control Anxiety

Patients should discuss the issue of anxiety with their doctors. The doctors will diagnose this condition or if you are not suffering from this condition then other conditions are also diagnosed. If patients are suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder then they are sent to mental health experts. These specialists have training in psychotherapy. It is important to choose those doctors with whom you are comfortable to share and discuss about matters related to your disorder and improvements that can be made in your health.

If you are suffering from constant anxiety since 6 months, you should urgently consult a doctor to know if you too are suffering from Generalized Anxiety disorder. In time diagnosis and treatment can save your life from future’s complications.

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