WHAT IS GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive and uncontrolled worry about several matters. While some amount of anxiety is normal and adaptive, such unwarranted anxiety can lead to problems. Twice as many women suffer from this condition as compared to men. 5-8% people develop it at some point in their life.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?
Patients with Generalized Anxiety disorder :
- Remain very worried and apprehensive about most things
- Feel tired very easily
- Face difficulties in concentrating
- Often blank out
- Feel restless, agitated and irritable
- Experience headaches
- Are constantly alert and get startled very easily
- Feel their heart racing and fall short of breath
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF GAD?
- Genetic component: Anxiety tends to run in families
- Biochemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, particularly norepinephrine
- Faulty perception: patients with generalized anxiety disorder perceive and respond to the environment in a maladaptive manner. They also have a negative view about themselves and are pessimistic about the future.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
- Cognitive behaviour therapy works towards restructuring faulty perceptions and thought processes.
- Relaxation techniques address the physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Insight oriented therapies help patients address unresolved psychological conflicts, enhancing self- esteem and building tolerance to anxiety.
ARE MEDICATIONS REQUIRED?
Medications that restore neurotransmitter levels in the brain are required in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Medicines, when taken together with psychotherapy yield the best treatment response.