Anxiety is a hot topic in the mental health profession today. With more than 40 million adults in America suffering from one related disorder or another, this particular classification of mental illness takes its toll on people’s lives physically, emotionally and financially. Generalized anxiety disorder is one class of this condition that impacts the lives of many people.
Unlike other anxiety disorders where a very specified source of anxiety is found, generalized anxiety disorder tends to plague people with a host of concerns. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by an overly exaggerated sense of worry and fear about everyday, normal events and activities. For people who suffer from this condition, everything from family health to upcoming tests can cause extreme strife.
Rather than react with a normal amount of apprehension about little problems and even big ones, people with the disorder tend to make mountains out of mole hills. In the process, they can work themselves up to a rather agitated state and even experience physical symptoms in the process.
If generalized anxiety disorder is particular severe, patients might find themselves with a life that has been completely sidelined. In this case, the fears about money, work, health and so on overshadow everything else. Before too long, a sufferer might find him or herself unable to function in everyday activities.
The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder do tend to vary from person to person a bit. In many cases, however, symptoms of the disorder might include such things as excessive tension and worry, a rather unrealistic fear about problems, restlessness, crankiness, inability to sleep, headaches and more.
The precise causes of generalized anxiety disorder are not completely understood. Some factors seem to play a role in its development, however. These include such things as genetic predisposition, brain chemistry and even outside stimulus that can give rise to natural anxiety, such as the loss of a loved one. When “normal” fears and concerns overshadow life and make functioning difficult, there is a reasonable chance that generalized anxiety disorder is present.
Depending on the cause of the disorder, a patient has a number of treatment options. Therapy is almost always advised to get at the root of the problem if it is caused by an outside source. In addition, medications can help alleviate some of the symptoms that make functioning and concentrating in everyday life difficult.
Generalized anxiety disorder affects more than 6 million people in America alone. This condition can lead to minor problems, or it might even completely waylay a person from enjoying life. When the symptoms are severe and the ramifications are serious, help should almost always be sought out.