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General Anxiety Disorder - Top Causes Explained

Mar 12, 2008
General anxiety disorder, or GAD, falls under the wide umbrella of anxiety disorders. People who suffer from GAD are characterized by a sense of apprehension in crowds or social settings, and can be seen as an extension of other common fears. Typical symptoms of GAD sufferers include over worrying about simple or day to day affairs such as health, money, or relationships, making it easy for the fears to overwhelm their lives, waiting for some vague looming disaster to befall. Other physical symptoms are headaches, hot flashes, sweating and irritability. Approximately 6 million Americans suffer from GAD, with two thirds of them being female.

There are many different factors that cause GAD, and research suggests that it may be hereditary. GAD usually occurs during childhood, in response to stressful situations, and may occur in conjunction with other anxiety disorders. Whilst exact causes of GAD have yet to be established, factors such as genetics, neurotransmitters and stress are proposed triggers.

It is important to be able to identify the causes of GAD, as it will help you to identify the source of your anxiety disorder. When you are aware of what triggers your disorder, you will feel less helpless and uncertain, and your fear of anxiety attacks will also fall. There are many possible triggers for stress-induced GAD, and as we experience stressful situations in our daily lives, this makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.

One way to identify the most likely cause of your stress is to take out some time from your schedule to relax. Lie back on a comfortable couch with soothing music, and help your mind to calm down. Make a list of your fears and uncertainties, and try to figure out what causes you to feel this way. Remember to be honest with yourself, and this little exercise could reveal to you the reasons for your anxiety which you never before realized.

Below are a few of the top causes of GAD explained - Why it causes anxiety, and how to recognize if you fall under the same category.

1) Emotional Conflict
This occurs when your behavior is in conflict with what you believe to be right. When this occurs, you feel emotionally disconcerted, and feel as though you are living a lie. It is often hard to determine if you are suffering from emotional conflict, hence it is recommended that you first try to identify your core beliefs and identify if anything you are engaged in may be causing you internal distress.

2) Underachieving
This is when you feel as though you could have done better, or should be doing better than what you currently have. This can be due to many reasons, and a common way of detecting if you suffer from this is to try and recall if you often find yourself making excuses to reason out why you underachieved. Sometimes, a reason for your underachievement could be external, due to politics for example, and this could be causing you to feel anxious.

3) Fear of the Unknown
This is a very common problem, and is a likely cause of your anxiety if you are going through a particular turbulent period in your life. This could be due to the death of a loved one whom you depend on heavily, job prospects or your health. This causes you to feel insecure and uncertain about what the future holds for you, and can lead to stress and anxiety disorders.

Stress is one of the most common triggers of GAD, and extreme cases may result in depression. It is important to take some time to assess where you are at in life, and whether you are headed in the right direction, so that you can take steps to align your actions to your goals.

Keep a positive attitude and mindset when dealing with yourself, and other useful methods for identifying the potential causes include meditation, professional help, or support groups.
About the Author
Greg Frost is a leading innovator in the field treating anxiety attacks and the director of http://www.AttackAnxiety.org which specializes providing a whole range of Anxiety Treatment topics to assist you in your life.
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