What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disorder characterized by constant, unrealistic worrying and exaggerated tension. The reason for such anxiety is typically unknown. Everyone worries at one time or another, in fact, at times anxiety is what pushes us to do better. However, for those with GAD, worrying occurs at the most unpredictable times, persisting in severity no matter how minor a circumstance.
Approximately 3% of the U.S. population ages 18 to 54 is affected by generalized anxiety disorder. Those with this disorder are in a constant state of panic over what might go wrong, dreading the immediate future and causing problems in their relationships. GAD puts a strain on everyday life.
What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
There are many reasons why generalized anxiety disorder occurs. Some examples include:
- Heredity. If immediate family members, or close relatives have had GAD at one time or another than the chances of receiving it are much higher.
- Illness. The presence of an illness can cause a great number of stresses with finances, one’s health and with work. Various worries of treatment or surgery can also be a trial. Certain illnesses seem to make one more susceptible to anxiety as well. One specific medical condition that typically affects anxiety is an overactive thyroid gland.
- Environmental Factors. Various factors in life such as divorce, death of a loved one, abuse, loss of a job or moving to a new location can cause stress and make one anxious. These circumstances can cause or make the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder worse.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Common symptoms of GAD include:
- Unable to relax
- Apprehensive, distressed
- Concern for loved ones
- Fear of danger
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling a lump in your throat