Anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life, but it can take a pathological form if it becomes excessive and out of control. The anxiety that is interfering with daily living, so much so that it’s difficult to keep under control comes under the umbrella of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Both adults and children can suffer from GAD. The overall symptom profile of GAD is similar to that of obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other types of anxiety. However, in clinical practice, they are all a spectrum of different disorders, best diagnosed by a professional Psychiatrist in Lahore.
What are the symptoms of GAD?
The symptoms of GAD include:
Persistent anxiety about anything, especially out of proportion to the events, along with difficulty in handling the situations. This is accompanied by restlessness, a sense of dread, irritability, and constantly feeling on ‘edge’. GAD also makes it difficult to concentrate on tasks at hand.
Apart from mental issues, physical symptoms can also manifest as part of GAD. These include excessive sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and feeling sick. In extreme cases, there are irregular heart rhythms (palpitations), difficulty in falling asleep, headaches, and shortness of breath. These physical symptoms can be triggered in certain situations, or specific phobias as well.
What are the causes of GAD?
GAD is just like any other health condition and therefore is a result of the complex interaction of biological and environmental factors. The brain chemistry with relation to GAD is quite complex, involving pathways responsible for emotion and thinking.
Additionally, research suggests that genetics and family history play a major role in GAD development, as do environmental influences. For instance, trauma-inducing events like assault or abuse, or even stressful events like the death of a loved one, changing jobs, or schools can contribute to GAD.
How to prevent GAD?
While there is no exact way to prevent GAD from occurring, certain precautions can reduce the severity of symptoms. The best remedy for preventing worsening of symptoms is to seek help early on, especially if there is some traumatic event involved. Many people are hesitant to reach for professional help, thinking it’s some form of personal failure if they reach out to therapists or psychiatrists for help. However, like any other physical disorder, mental disorders will also aggravate the longer they are ignored.
For many people, recognizing what triggers anxiety in them is difficult. This is where a therapist can play a crucial role. A mental healthcare provider can help you recognize your triggers and help you deal with them effectively, either through medication or through counseling and behavior therapy. Stress management techniques, and support groups both are effective ways of dealing with anxiety, and stressful situations. Many therapists recommend keeping a daily journal and logging in your feelings to ascertain the cause for stressful emotions.
Anxiety is often worsened by nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Thus, if you habitually take any form of these, try to quit. If you need help with quitting, psychiatrist in Karachi can be helpful.