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How To Tell If You Have A Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Aug 17, 2007
Many disorders exist for anxiety. They range from post-traumatic stress disorder to extreme reactions to phobias. One of the most commonly experienced forms of the problem is what medical practitioners have coined "Generalized Anxiety Disorder". GAD is very common and the good things is not that hard to see the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in a person and help them to deal with it.

Basically, the key symptom is excessive anxiety and worry. As noted, some level of anxiety and worry is entirely natural. Worry is the way our body warnings us of risks and possible problems, we all have experienced these warnings and many times they save our lives. Not having an ability to experience anxiety would surely be far more destructive than experiencing normal anxiety levels. Elevated anxiety disorders, Of course, can be debilitating. When ones worries become out of whack with reality and are disproportionate or excessive, a problem is present.

Diagnostic Criteria

Lets take a closer look at the DSM diagnostic criteria for a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As noted, it first requires excessive anxiety and worry. It also requires that these worries most occur more days than not for a period of at least six months, about a number of events or activities In other words, one must be disproportionately worried on a regular basis about a variety of things in order to receive the diagnosis.

Three Of Six Symptoms

- restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- being easily fatigued
- difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- irritability
- muscle tension
- sleep disturbances

Uncontrollability

Thus, being worried a lot does not in and of itself constitute a disorder. There must also be some level of uncontrollability and some other manifestation of the problem. An anxiety disorder, according to the diagnostic volume, cannot be the outgrowth of concerns related to a similar disorder. For instance, having a fear of a panic attack (that is a feature of panic disorder) when one experiences panic attacks would not qualify.

The Heart Of The Matter

If the anxiety becomes distressful enough to impair social or occupational situations and prevent functioning in society, this can be of major concern. This is really the heart of the matter. When the worry and anxiety reach a level that interferes with normal functioning, an anxiety disorder is present. This breakdown applies specifically to a Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnoses, but it is enlightening with respect to other anxiety disorders. Primary features are still the exact same with excessive worry, experiencing this frequently and uncontrollably.
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For great anxiety related articles and resources check out http://counselingportal.info
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