What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?
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What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Generalised anxiety disorder is a condition which can rob a person of their quality of life, affecting personal relationships, careers and normal social functioning. It can take a person considerable courage to both, accept they may have generalised anxiety disorder, and actively seek professional help. However, by seeking help, many people with generalised anxiety disorder receive beneficial treatment and learn how to overcome or manage it, greatly improving their quality of life.

Anxiety is something many people experience at some point in their lives, and to varying degrees, defined as: ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome’. However, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the term given for a psychological disorder, characterised by widespread, overwhelming and persistent feelings of anxiety, and described by the Calm Clinic (www.calmclinic.com) as: ‘an ongoing state of mental and / or physical tension and nervousness, either without a specific cause or without the ability to take a break from anxiety.’

Categories of Anxiety Disorders

According to recent (psychologist) findings, there are 7 categories of anxiety disorders; Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and the one thing they have in common is that they all manifest in the mind and body (the symptoms are mental and physical). This reflects the difference in respect to depression, which manifests in the emotions (the symptoms are emotional). It is not uncommon for a person to experience some form of depression along with an anxiety disorder (or even more than one anxiety disorder).

Symptoms

Those who suffer with an anxiety disorder generally experience; rapid heart-beat (heart palpitations), excessive trembling and sweating, nausea and dizziness, chest pains and headache, weakness in the limbs and muscle tension. Generalised anxiety disorder is the most common anxiety disorder and is usually diagnosed if the symptoms are excessive and experienced fairly consistently over a six month period of time – and, include at least some of the following: - perpetual restlessness, extreme tiredness (fatigue), concentration problems and absentmindedness, sleep problems, persistent muscle tension, feelings of being without control, obsessive overly negative thoughts (Disaster Thinking).

Statistics

Many people who experience generalised anxiety disorder feel isolated and alone, but research has shown that approximately 3% of the population is diagnosed with it every year, and approximately 5% of the population experience it during their lifetime. Tens of millions of people are affected by generalised anxiety disorder around the world, and many have suffered without professional help for sometimes up to 10 years.

Quality of Life

Generalised anxiety disorder is a condition which can rob a person of their quality of life, affecting personal relationships, careers and normal social functioning.  It can take a person considerable courage to both, accept they may have generalised anxiety disorder, and actively seek professional help. However, by seeking help, many people with generalised anxiety disorder receive beneficial treatment and learn how to overcome or manage it, greatly improving their quality of life.

Sources:

Calm Clinic: http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety

Calm Clinic: http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types

Boots WebMD: http://www.webmd.boots.com/anxiety-panic/guide/generalised-anxiety-disorder

Photo: wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream

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