Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – causes, symptoms & treatment


Say you’ve got a huge presentation in front
of all your colleagues; you’re nervous, you’ve got quite a bit of stress leading
up to the presentation. That stress is completely normal, and really—probably useful in certain
situations since it can make you more alert and careful. After the presentation’s over
you feel the stress start to fade away, right? Well…for 3% of the population, the stress
doesn’t go away, and maybe that stress isn’t even brought on by a specific event and is
always just sort of always there. Either way, at this point it’s considered to be anxiety.
That anxiety might even get worse over time, and causes things like chest pains or nightmares. Sometimes the anxiety’s so severe that it
causes someone to be anxious about leaving the house or doing everyday things, like going
to work or school. This anxiety may be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, sometimes
shortened to GAD. GAD’s characterized by excessive, persistent, and unreasonable anxiety
about everyday things, like money, family, work, and relationships; even sometimes the
thought of getting through the day causes anxiety. If the anxiety’s persistent, then
it doesn’t seem to go away, if it’s excessive, it’s usually more than someone else might
feel, and if it’s unreasonable, they probably shouldn’t have a reason to feel anxious
about it. People who have GAD might even understand
that their anxieties are excessive and unreasonable, but they feel it’s out of their control
and don’t quite know how to stop it. People with severe GAD might be completely debilitated
and have trouble with the simplest daily activities, or they might be only mildly affected and
be able to function socially and hold down a job. Sometimes the feelings might worsen
or improve over time. In addition to having feelings of worries
and anxiety, other symptoms include edginess and restlessness, difficulty concentrating
or feeling like the mind just goes blank, and also irritability. These psychological
symptoms can also lead to physical manifestations of symptoms like digestive problems from eating
more or eating less. They might also have muscle aches and soreness from carrying tension
in their muscles. Finally difficulty sleeping is a really common symptom that can have a
serious impact on physical well-being, since the body’s not resting and can lead to issues
of chronic fatigue. Although the decision that someone’s worry
is excessive and unreasonable has a subjective quality, diagnosing GAD is aided by the diagnostic
and statistical manual of mental disorders, or DSM-V, this manual gives a list of criteria
to meet in order to be diagnosed with GAD. First, the excessive worry and anxiety has
to have been present for more days than not over the course of 6 months. In other words,
a person should have the symptoms of excess or unreasonable worry on 90 or more days out
of 180 days. Generally, people can’t quantify or track their feelings in that way, so again,
this is meant to offer a general guideline, right? Okay second—the person finds it hard
to control their anxiety, meaning that they have a hard time calming themselves or “self-soothing”
to help themselves regain control over their feelings. Third, an adult must have three
or more of the symptoms listed previously. In children though, typically defined as “school-age”,
so between 6 and 18 years old, only one symptom is needed for the diagnosis of GAD. Another
criteria is that the anxiety causes impairment in important daily activities like school
or work. For example, they might miss deadlines or find it difficult to even go to work because
of their symptoms. Fifth, the symptoms are not attributable to the physiologic effects
of a drugs or medication, or due to a medical condition like hyperthyroidism which creates
an excess of thyroid hormone, which can sometimes cause symptoms of anxiety and worry. Finally,
their anxiety isn’t better explained by another mental disorder like social phobia
or panic disorder. Just like a lot of mental disorders, it’s
unclear exactly why some individuals develop generalized anxiety disorder, but it’s thought
to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as it seems to run in families. It
also has been shown to be twice as prevalent in females than in males. Treating GAD, like many mental disorders,
may involve psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. If it’s psychotherapy,
cognitive behavior therapy has been effective since it teaches the patient to think and
behave in different ways, and react differently to situations that would usually causes anxiety
and worry. Medications like benzodiazepines or antidepressants might be prescribed as
well, benzodiazepines are a type of psychoactive drug that have a relaxing and calming effect.
Antidepressants might also be prescribed, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors,
or SSRIs, which regulate the serotonin levels in the brain and help elevate mood. Even though
both medications and cognitive behavior therapy have similar effectiveness in the short-term,
cognitive behavior therapy has major advantages over medication in the long term, due to unwanted
effects of the medications like tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal.

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Comments

  1. hi, can anybody help like semi- diagnose what I might be having? I need to know if I have this now or I wont be able to think about anything else.

  2. Dear Osmosis or anyone who can help,
    How does a person know if GAD is genetic? What kind of medical tests needed for one to know if they got it from, for instance, one of their parents?

  3. This sounds like me …. 👍🏻
    Enjoying peace & quiet … meditation sure helps my anxiety ……
    and so does keeping away from toxic people .
    I think domestic violence & attempting to even try to co parant with a paranoid schitzphrenic , narcissistic man would give the healthiest of people anxiety. 🙏🏻
    it’s all really about looking after our safety & our health.
    If you suffer anxiety & depression I think just get lots of rest & take things daily , just make small goals & plans to look after you.
    I recommend listening to positive scriptures , prayers , medication, & meditation …. & lots of sleep.
    At least Until your anxiety or panic attack or even disassociation episode ceases…….

  4. There are certain activities that cause me more anxiety than usual: those whose conditions are beyond my total control, such as going out for dinner or a film etc. with other people, or participating in some kind of sport or game that I can't just leave when I want, or during which I am expected to perform in a certain way. I may have fun during these events but I dread them all the same and would rather stay home or do something that I control. I could just say no but I don't, or I let myself get "volunteered" into doing things, then spend the week before they happen worrying about them. I know my anxiety about these things is totally unfounded, as is that which I feel about going to work or school or learning new things (made infinitely worse by ADD). But, no matter how much I tell myself I'm just imagining it, the anxiety persists and if anything, is getting worse.

  5. There are certain activities that cause me more anxiety than usual: those whose conditions are beyond my total control, such as going out for dinner or a film etc. with other people, or participating in some kind of sport or game that I can't just leave when I want, or during which I am expected to perform in a certain way. I may have fun during these events but I dread them all the same and would rather stay home or do something that I control. I could just say no but I don't, or I let myself get "volunteered" into doing things, then spend the week before they happen worrying about them. I know my anxiety about these things is totally unfounded, as is that which I feel about going to work or school or learning new things (made infinitely worse by ADD). But, no matter how much I tell myself I'm just imagining it, the anxiety persists and if anything, is getting worse.

  6. I remember i have 5 presentations each term (1 term is equal to 3 months and we have 3 terms)
    Everytime its the day of my presentation, i would tell my mom that im sick but she obviously know that i was faking, one night my eyes went black and when i woke up i was at the hospital, they said i fainted from too much stress:(

  7. I’ve never been diagnosed from a doctor with anxiety but I know for a fact that I have it. Here are my symptoms

    Obsessive worrying
    Overthinking EVERYTHING
    Negative thoughts
    Bad memory
    Zoned out vision
    Foggy head
    Disability to learn
    Really hard to understand simple things
    Disorganized thoughts
    Fast heart beat (sometimes)
    Feeling of worthlessness
    Low self esteem
    Unable to focus at all
    Shallow breathing
    Feeling exhausted
    Avoidance of people or situations (sometimes)
    Feeling of being trapped
    False perspectives on people I’m around
    Sweating (sometimes)

  8. I used to have a social anxiety disorder a few year ago. Then the anxiety faded and turned into more of a depression.I was always insecure and i never felt comfortable telling people i used to go to a therapist. I still do have touches of anxiety like being insecure at times ( but dont we all?) but i dont consider it a disorder. ( btw meds made everything worse )

  9. Ive been this way since 16 yrs old. Im 39. Just got out of the ER. My life is a shadow of what it should be and everything i try just doesnt work for me. Meditation, yoga, meds, deep breathing, exercise, being kind, being sober, quiting smoking. Sometimes id rather be dead. Why the f cant i just get on with my life and live happily and "normally" w/ out freaking out every f**** day! Im insane.
    P.s. please stop saying its more prevelant for women or gender specific…it makes men think they are weaker than they already feel.

  10. Im burping all the time since I was diagnosed with GAD. It makes me bloat and have heart palpitations. Im so obsessed with my heart right now. I spend the day in bed with my chest pressed cause Im afraid that my heart will burst. Sometimes its horrible. The worst part is that once I go to the hospital everything is fine. I feel almost perfect. I can even reason with myself and see that most of the symptons are just stress.

    God… Is there someone out there to talk. I really feel in a bad place of my life. I can barely pay my rent cause I still have to pay the school loan. Only 6k euros left, but its four years away from being paid. People say "Do stuff". I cant pay a gym or the movies.

    Im 25 and I feel like even if my heart is ok now. It wont be in the future cause stress anxiety or whatever is killing me slowly.

  11. Am I the only one with gad that feel like I can't keep air fully down to the bottom of my lungs? And feeling pressure on my chest which just makes the breathing worse.

  12. got diagnosed a week ago. kinda in denial. i’m 16. i’m not ashamed of having GAD i just wish i wasn’t like this. what makes me feel better is that i’m not alone. ive realized that i’ve kind of always had it but i had no idea on what it was or why i was thinking this way. it’s gotten worse throughout time and now i just feel hopeless that it’s never gonna go away. i’m glad to know that there’s other people out there who i can talk to that have the same problems

  13. Just got diagnosed about a week ago with Sever GAD. It’s kinda comforting to know what’s happening, and I look forward to getting treatment

  14. Something not mentioned in the video is that people with this kind of disorders resort to rather unorthodox temporary methods such as alcohol, smoking, or in the worst case scenario, sinthetic drugs such as heroin or xanax.

    Sometimes at social gatherings my anxiety levels are so high that the only way for me to open up more is to be drunk. Maybe slightly or full on drunk. Yes, i fear for a lot of reasons because this is not just a mental disorder, is the gateway to a lot of inestability and fragility, wich in turn adds you another problem, as it wasnt enough already with having GAD.

  15. After suffering with this day in and day out for over 24 years i think i can safely say that this illness is the most debilitating, painful and stigmatized ever known to man. People cant see what your going through because its not psychical, its mental. So they pass judgment dehumanize you which makes you feel even more anxious and withdrawn. I would take physical illness over mental and emotional any day. Any day!!

  16. I understand the cognitive behavior aspect of it however it IS STILL A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE of the brain. You can train yourself to somewhat deal with the episodes but coupled with right medication is a winning attempt. Many that diagnos and treat others do not know how it truly feels to live day to day like this. Life is already difficult as is and to exert more energy in finding coping mechanisms (which constantly need altering) can be catastrophic if that is all you can do. Many Drs are cutting benzos off from ppl that TRULY NEED it and have never abused the drug. It is a sad state of affairs in this day for ppl that struggle like myself included.

  17. Thing is I think I might have this and social anxiety disorder so I guess I’m self-diagnosed I have 3 symptoms which are restlessness/edginess irritability and difficultly sleeping

  18. Guys, I wanna say something don't take me wrong and do a research on that. Ive been going through this generalized anxiety for almost 5 years now ive been taking medications for almost 3 years.Yes, its helps us and many others to relief pain and or whatever that illness-causing in mind. But what I'm Trying To say most of you will not agree with me because no one wants to believe you on that or even look into that way That those things are virus from person to person just like flu or viral infection some sort of or its in the Air that we breathe in and Also it is generated by someone Iin the lab mean to say by those pharmaceutical companies and that's their agenda is to earn money and ALL of those who are going through that are being experimented ALL over the world .and you can ask any one about theri first attack it was a sudden its what i know what ive have experianced and heard from maney of my friends who were totally healthy fine none of any thing above mentioned same as me its happend All of a Sudde it came out of no where but that thing attacks so fast and once you Got it I swear even you are cured or say its gone i garantee you that you will never feel the same feelings once you have lived this before .I hope ALL those People who are suffering and sufferd MAY GOD bless Them

  19. Calm what close to me*people see,Anxious what strangers see and my body feels(saying this because everytime I go for an interview people think I 'm nervous but in my mind I 'm ok,but I look stressed*not a good thing or even shy*also not a good thing*) I hope this makes sense.

  20. Honestly I thought I was alone not knowing why I feel like this.
    Glad I saw this video made me feel better about it. I need to over come it and take my life back.😎

  21. If you have other anxiety like health anxiety go keto ull see whats up…about social well try to get close circle of friends I guess and if u have to go to an event bring the person ur most comfortable with…about the job if you can find a job where its all you…dont work with comstumers and ull be fine 🙂

  22. I have all the symptoms on you drawing but it’s not because I have worries, it because I have bipolar disorder , it is genetic and stress triggers bipolar episodes. I take depakote and seroquel but still waiting on the treatment to work. It’s hell my life is impaired.

  23. ATM it's 6 o'clock, the time I usually go to school (I'm on holiday) and I woke up at 3 am today. My stomach is so tense I feel sick. I think it's because I find school stressful so I'm dreading it and I can't stop it even though I know I'm not going to school.

  24. I just hate it when someone thinks they know how you feel even when they clearly don't. My best friend in school was walking home with me after I had a panic attack that day (palpitations, shortness of breath, fidgeting, fear, disorientation) saying "oh yeah, I had that in English today.". Maybe I'm being too sensitive about it, but the way she said it was like she dismissed what was going on with me and it made me feel uncomfortable and doubt myself.

  25. I have this and it’s hard to deal with
    I’m 12 and In 7th grade
    My anxiety is making me depressed
    But I just want you to know that your not alone
    And I wish I could take everyone’s pain away
    And even if that means I’ll suffer
    I just want people to be happy
    I don’t care if I’m sad or depressed but I want to take it away from everyone
    Make them happy

  26. I relate to this so much, I've been suffering with Generalised Anxiety Disorder for 2 years now and along the way have learned so much. If anyone seems to be interested or needs some help, I have a Youtube Channel in which I talk about mental disorders like anxiety, GAD, depersonalisation and other ways of improving your mental health. I am really passionate about this topic area and my only goal is to help as many people as I can because I know the hardship that a mental disorder brings along. Do you relate to the videos I post on my channel? Thank you for listening.

  27. I was diagnosed with GAD and panic disorder last year, before I was diagnosed everyone thought I was just dramatic and wanted attention.

  28. i think i have gad , but im not sure , i dont wanna say i have it because i dont want to seem like im attension seeking so i just have to leave it and hope that someone notices

  29. GAD is being up for 3 days as an irritable, paranoid basketcase trying your best to avoid any human contact (co workers) and being even more paranoid after they think your on hard drugs because you are sleep deprived, woozy and look like shit. The struggle is real.

  30. I have gad, it’s not very severe I’m in eighth grade, and I get scared a lot, and I worry about everything, I’m constantly tired, and I can’t concentrate

  31. I was diagnosed with GAD today. I knew there had been something wrong and wasn't able to explain it.

    This video described me 100%

  32. Wait… This means 97% of people just go on about their lives without all these worries? Like, what do they even do or feel with all this peaceful time on their hands?? Sigh… No wonder other people are able to become so successful or just go on with a stupidest idea and totally make everyone love it. I am so jealous of it at this point.

  33. Dear companions, i am 35 years old and i have been taking pills for 14 years that all was unneccesary. 6 months ago i was diagnosed with gad. The thinking, the thinking about the thinking, concentrationproblems, etc., this a hell on earth. I have never asked for this. I have no hope for me at all..this feels like a fight i never can win. 😭😭

  34. Who here knows they have this… desperately wants help but can't seek it due to lack of medical insurance?

  35. Please check out the DSM-5. Things have shifted a bit with GAD. I have taught mental illness for the last 17 years. Overall, this is a really great video!

  36. I have gad and basically I feel sick everyday although I’m never actually sick and I’m constantly on edge and I feel like I have to get out of wherever I am Incase I’m sick or the whole day I’m constantly thinking about ways to get out or looking to see how long of my lesson is left

  37. I have GAD and it's been really bad recently because of exams I can't go a day without a panic attack and my classmates don't make it easy they literally try to tell me that I don't have it even though it's diagnosed

  38. I get so frustrated when people tell me "not to worry because it doesn't solve anything" – the thing that people do not understand is that my brain is wired in such a way that i'll just start worrying about having to worry. I know I shouldn't worry, but I cannot stop worrying and knowing that worrying is wrong without being able to stop it leads to worrying about the thing itself!

  39. For me is 100% inherited and it is part of me . My mother and grandmother suffered with this so its inherited . All I need is to learn to manage the condition. No medication is necessary as doctors think that medication work they do not! Learning to manage it its the best cure. Axiety has positive and negative side too .

  40. My problem is that I am so nervous and stressed out to give the presentation. To the point when I lose sleep and won't eat. I'm terrified. Then when its over, I still feel anxious but not nearly as bad.

  41. The chest pain, the sore muscles and the nausea. The constant feeling of despair and overthinking every aspect of your day, torturing yourself about everything you did and you think you messed up and will loose everything. The fear of not appealing to people, the multiple outcomes of a casual meeting, irritability and unstable emotions that make everyone run away from you. It's literally killing me and it's just a vicious cycle.

  42. how bout health anxiety. when you think your sick of some terminal illness but your not. and the physical symptoms like head pressure dizziness IBS constipation night trembling and numbness of feet hands and head, this been happening to me on an everyday basis

  43. Some doctors say anxiety is anger turned inwards . Just as depression is anger turned inwards . I can relate to that .

  44. I've been overthinking for about six months exact with the fear of death and fear of my health when I've always been healthy. Ever since then I overthink everyday to the point I'm shaking and my mind goes blank when it gets bad. Friday the 14th was my last day of freshman year when I go to social media and someone threatened the school saying he was going to shoot up the school, so I started worrying so much that I started crying out of nowhere with the trouble of breathing and I was shaking so I had to leave class and take a walk. Everyone keeps telling me to stop overthinking but I cant it takes over my mind. On Saturday the 15th I woke up at 1am feeling nauseous so I got up and started walking around my house to calm myself down then I started shaking so I woke up my mom to help me after that my mind went blank I couldn't control anything I felt hopeless. About 20 minutes later I felt normal again so I slept with no problem. On Sunday the 16th I went to Ihop which was fathers day it was really really packed and really loud so I started feeling dizzy and nauseous again, I felt so overwhelmed so I went outside and took a run then came back and refused to go back inside because I didn't feel well. Once again my mind overtook my head. Ive never felt like this Ive always been social and I've always loved packed places because I felt safe but now I feel antisocial and I don't want to be like this. Im 15 and I think I have GAD if anyone has any tips id really appreciate it.

  45. i’ve been anxious for 5 months now due to a stressful period in my life. Every time i’m anxious i’m anxious about nothing and feel like i’m trapped. Mornings are much worse than later on during the day idk why I also noticed that distracting myself during the day rather than laying down doing nothing makes me less anxious. The only thing that I fear is how i’m going to make it in life with this problem or if it would get worse in the future. i think i have GAD

  46. Nice video! Thank you for this information. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety treatment in Total Mental Wellness is available. We help manage the mood disorders effectively.

  47. It likely has something to do with your neurotransmitters or receptors not working properly. You could try increasing your dopamine, gaba and serotonin by diet, exercising and meditation. If the changes are not enough you could use amino acids like L-theanine, L-tryptophan and L-tyrosine. They are found in food (except L-theanine is found mostly only on tea.) Using things like SSRI and benzodiazepines will work for your anxiety, but they can cause damage to your brains, especially the latter one could cause very bad damage to your GABA receptors and it may take years to heal. I recommend l-theanine and l-tryptophan. Take them for 2 weeks and if it doesn't work then find something else.

  48. I have GAD jobless and 130k of student debt and lost my arm in a accident about 5 months ago , I have 18500 $ on credit cards and my parents have Disowned me and my car was repo’d

  49. I always feel like im always being laughed and i can't do anything good. The last time i was confident was in 6th grade. But im in 8th grade now.

  50. I have all of those except chronic fatigue and the difficulty of sleeping. I get irritated really easily,I always panic in front of all exams,I often cry for everything ,I often have panic attacks and these days when I wake up I feel weak like very weak. I am 14 y/o too. I know that I have GAD but do I have more ?(sorry for my bad english,english is not my first language).

  51. 3% in da h o u s e

    On a level of seriousness though, I have delt with GAD for years now. As a kid (12 yr old) I have had therapy for about 3-4 years and have recently gotten on an antidepressant. Although those help, I still find myself having panic attacks and anxiety problems. I even sometimes turn down offers to go over to a friend’s house because of the excess worry. Although I am trying to conquer my anxiety, I keep finding people that are very close like family teasing me for it and people telling me to “stop worrying”, “stop crying”, or “get over it”. Can anyone relate??

  52. Lol am i the only one with not any stress problems like bruh every comment are about people saying like "i have gad omg omg waaaa"

  53. Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Kill me Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help Help

  54. Me just watching this now i am like everything make sense to my life now. Everyday problems. Especially math makes me shake and worried i legit feel chest pain and shaking ahahahaha is that normal?

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