The simplest definition of anxiety sounds like this: a mental health condition that brings out tension, worry or fear feelings. In addition, some people may also experience panic attacks or more severe physical symptoms (chest pain etc.). The truth is that the term anxiety sums up more than one illness:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder is, actually, the most common from the list. The main symptom is the excessive and persistent worrying about daily stuff that the person considers difficult to manage. The daily worries are not something unusual or new for most people. Work or family related problems, money or health issues are normal in anyone’s life. The difference is that people with GAD tend to exaggerate them. They cannot manage to control their emotions anymore and end up worrying about more related issues at the same time. GAD comes with social, occupational and physical impairment, along with emotional distress.
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Chances of Developing Anxiety Disorders
Statistics say that the chances of a person to develop GAD represent only 9%. However, there is also a possibility that 3% of the population may receive a positive GAD diagnostics at a given time. No scientist can say for sure the age at which GAD might burst, but the range is between twenty and forty years old. Females are more affected by this disease than males.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder behaves exactly like any other disease. It gradually increases in severity until it reaches higher levels over time. There are also periods of time (three months or more) in which the person does not present any symptom.
Signs of General Anxiety Disorder
Each illness has its symptoms by which it can be recognized and then treated. You should see a doctor if you:
- Worry too much for a long period of time
- Are feeling keyed up, restless or on edge
- Are being irritable
- Cannot concentrate or your mind has blank moments
- Are feeling tired quickly
- Have started to over-plan things
- Have sore or tense muscles
- Are writing endless lists all the time
- Cannot fall asleep easily, cannot sleep too well and wake up a lot of times during the night
- Are feeling the need to ask others for reassurance
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The Way You Can Deal With Anxiety
Anxiety is a disease that can be treated and maintained under control. The most important thing is to regain your control over your worries. There are multiple ways to achieve that goal.
One of them is CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It offers the most long-lasting and consistent improvements over time. This treatment contains three crucial components:
- Relaxation training to control your physical tension
- A special session through which you receive information about the skills needed to manage your anxiety. You will also be able to control and change your feelings, thoughts and behavior
- The possibility to identify and challenge your worrying thoughts
Medication is also a way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. However, there are no long-term improvements as long as the medication is stopped and some of them are addictive. In addition, this type of treatment is not an option without CBT.
You can always choose to do something fun and forget about your worries. Try walking through the park or playing basketball for example. Exercising is also a great way to deal with your anxiety symptoms. The brain chemicals that are released after a workout session neutralize low mood and anxiety. You should do some cardio exercises for at least half an hour per day, three times per week.
Negative Thoughts Can Only Cause You Harm
It is also a known fact that people who suffer from anxiety have a lot of bad thoughts. They seem to see the worst in each situation they face. It would be wise to stop doing that and try to see the bright side. There surely is one no matter what. Good thoughts can make your life better.
People that experience anxiety tend to run away from threatening situations. This is not a wise thing to do because their symptoms will only get worse if they come across the same problem again. The best choice is to try to deal with the feared issue. It usually ends well, but there are certain situations when it does not, unfortunately. You can always learn new things about confronting fears and how to manage emotions.
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