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The Truth Behind Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms & Treatment Options

Aug 17, 2007
Generalized anxiety disorder is one of the common anxiety disorders. There is relief for sufferers. Anxiety disorders are the term covering several different forms of abnormal, pathological anxiety, fear, phobia and nervous condition, which may come on all of a sudden or gradually, over a period of several years and may impair or prevent the pursuing of normal daily routines.

The essential characteristic of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is excessive uncontrollable worry about everyday things. This constant worry affects daily functioning and can cause physical symptoms. GAD is usually difficult to diagnose for it lacks some of the dramatic symptoms, like unprovoked panic attacks, that are seen with other anxiety disorders. To be able to diagnose Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms must be present more days than not for at least 6 months.

The diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms are:

Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehension), occurring more days than not for a period of at least 6 months, about numerous events or activities.

The person with GAD finds it hard to control the worry.
The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more of the following six symptoms, with at least some symptoms are present for more than 6 months in most days than not (at least one is required for children):

restlessness or feeling tense or on the edge;
easily fatigued;
difficulty concentrating or mind going blank;
irritability;
muscle tension and muscle aches;
difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless;
unsatisfying sleep;
difficulty swallowing;
trembling, sweating;
nausea, light-headedness;
feeling out of breath

The focus of anxiety and worry is not limited to, or the anxiety or worry is not about having a panic attack, being embarrassed in the public, being contaminated, gaining weight, having multiple physical complaints, or having a serious illness, and the anxiety, and worry do not occur exclusively during post traumatic disorder.

The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of everyday activities.

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effect of substance, such as alcohol and drug abuse, or medical condition, and does not occur exclusively during a mood disorder, a psychotic disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder.

When the anxiety level of people with GAD is mild, they can still function socially and keep a job. Even if they don't avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder, they may have difficulty doing the simplest daily activities if there anxiety is severe. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin at any age, but the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is commonly treated with medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Several drugs are used to treat anxiety disorders and these include: benzodiazepines and antidepressants, and Quetiapine.
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