It’s normal to be anxious sometimes, but GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder, can derail you from handling your daily life. If anxiety is preventing you from handling school, sleep, personal relationships, and a career, your first priority should be seeking a diagnosis from a GAD counselor. This condition shares symptoms with other conditions, and often coexists with other mood disorders, including panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most often, it requires long-term treatment to overcome.
The symptoms of GAD include:
- constant worrying and obsession about concerns,
- and difficulty concentrating.
Patients can have physical symptoms as well, such as:
- muscle aches,
- shortness of breath,
- and trouble sleeping.
Sometimes, symptoms occur on a situational basis. In children, this could include school performance or for most of us, natural disasters. Someone might also have lingering feelings of failure and lack confidence.
As with most mental health disorders, the causes of GAD aren’t completely understood, but it may be related to:
- and traumatic life events.
It’s also possible that some physical health conditions are associated with GAD as well, such as:
- heart disease,
- gastroesophageal reflux disease,
- and hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
GAD treatments generally fall into the categories of medication and psychotherapy. Among medications, antidepressants are common, as are anti-anxiety pills. For many patients, psychotherapy (also known as psychological counseling) is very effective at treating GAD. This involves talking with anxiety counselors about life stressors and worries and working through them. Even if patients can’t change the problems that are worrying them, they can improve their condition by changing their outlook.
It’s not possible to follow any particular strategy to prevent GAD, because there’s no way to determine what will cause individuals to develop the disorder. Even so, it’s possible to reduce the severity of existing symptoms by visiting a qualified GAD therapist as soon as you think there might be something wrong. It’s also advisable to keep a journal that helps you identify what might be causing your anxiety and what seems to make it better. As always, it’s a good idea to avoid substance abuse and maintain positive lifestyle habits.
Why Choose New Horizons to Treat GAD?
North Horizons has licensed professionals who specialize in GAD counseling. Because early treatment and professional therapy is key, it’s important to seek help as soon as you discover any symptoms of anxiety in you or a loved one. Contact one of our counselors in McKinney when you’re ready. We’re always just a call, click, or a visit away.