April 16th, 2010
The most commonly diagnosed of all anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, is nothing to laugh about. Millions of people all over the world suffer from some form of generalized anxiety disorder and many don’t seek treatment or even realize that they have this condition. For those that do suffer with it, it affects their lives, their families, their jobs, and more – sometimes to the point that they develop severe cases of agoraphobia. If you aren’t sure what a generalized anxiety disorders is, it’s a condition that causes the person to uncontrollably worry about everyday things to the point that it becomes irrational and causes the person physical problems. A person suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder has these worries about things that they cannot control, and therefore anticipate perceived disasters as well as over anticipate problems like death, financial issues, health problems, and relationship issues.
Researchers and medical professionals have found that it’s hard to pinpoint a specific age range when generalized anxiety disorders begin to occur in a person. They find that most people that are either predisposed or already were suffering from symptoms, do develop a serious generalized anxiety disorder by the age of 31. While there are children that are diagnosed with anxiety disorders, a generalized anxiety disorder can take many years to develop as it is a gradual onset versus other anxiety problems. While women are more commonly diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, it is also very common in elderly people of both genders.
There are many symptoms to a generalized anxiety disorder that causes the person mental and physical problems and distress. Some of these symptoms include headaches, nausea, sweating, insomnia, rashes, difficulty breathing, twitching and fidgeting, numbness in feet or hands, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, chest aches, problems swallowing, and even abdominal problems. Now, many people experience these symptoms throughout their lives, but those with generalized anxiety disorders have from 5 to 20 different symptoms that are consistent and last at least six months.
There are many different types of treatments out there for generalized anxiety disorders, some of the most common are psychotherapy, medications, and self-help. Psychotherapy involves a therapist working with the sufferer to help them understand their irrational thoughts and fears and help them to begin changing how the perceive things, themselves, problems, and worries. Medications include both natural and prescribed medicines, such as SSRI’s (to help maintain a more relaxed state of mind), herbal supplements, and benzodiazepines (for fast acting relief for panic attacks). Self-help treatments include breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, and support groups. When these treatments are combined, the person suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder can find better relief and be able to get back to a normal lifestyle.
Although there are many different treatment options available for symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders, it can be very difficult to find one right away that will help to alleviate every symptom that a sufferer might have. It can take months and sometimes years of trial and error before they find the right combination of treatments that give them the relief they need from the symptoms, worries, and fears. But, if you do have to go through several different treatments before finding the right one, don’t get discouraged. The right treatment for you might not be the right treatment for someone else, trial and error is the only way to be sure that each treatment will work, or not, for you.