Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Anxiety disorders are not just a case of "nerves." You can't overcome an anxiety disorder just through willpower, nor can the symptoms be ignored or wished away. These disorders cause you to feel anxious most of the time, making some everyday situations so uncomfortable that you may avoid them entirely. Or, you may experience occasional instances of anxiety that are so terrifying and intense that you may be immobilized with fear. Although these conditions can be very frightening and disabling, they are also very treatable. It is important to recognize the symptoms and seek help.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is constant, exaggerated worry and tension without any apparent reason. This may cause a person to always anticipate a disaster or worry excessively about health, money, work, or family problems. Often, however, the source of the worry and tension is not specific, and simply inhibits a person's ability to get through the day. People suffering from GAD may experience:
Treatment for anxiety disorders usually involves both medication and psychotherapy. Studies have shown with proper treatment, 70-80 percent of people with panic disorders significantly improve and often within 6-8 weeks.
There are many different drugs used to treat anxiety symptoms; therefore, it is possible that if one type is not effective, another may be. Many of these medications have side effects, so the patient should be monitored and observed closely.
Behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy are also very effective in treating these disorders. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing specific actions and uses different techniques to stop this behavior. One technique involves diaphragmatic breathing which is a form of deep-breathing. Another technique called exposure therapy gradually exposes the patient to the object or situation which frightens him/her and helps the patient to develop coping skills.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches the persons new skills in order to react differently to the situations which trigger the anxiety or panic attacks. Patients also learn to understand how their thinking patterns contribute to the symptoms and how to change their thinking to reduce or stop these symptoms.