Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health conditions. Generalized anxiety disorder impacts roughly 6.8 million individuals aged 18 and above in the United States alone on an annual basis. But, you might wonder, what exactly is generalized anxiety disorder? How do you know if you have it, and how is it treated? Here’s what you need to know about this common condition and how to find support.
What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is a very common mental health condition, mental illness, or mental disorder that is characterized by excessive worry about various topics. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder may include but aren’t limited to:
- Excessive worry
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fatigue or restlessness
- Intrusive thoughts
- Panic attacks
Someone with generalized anxiety disorder may also experience physical symptoms such as trembling, shaking, sweating, G.I. distress, headaches, body aches, and so on. Generalized anxiety disorder can range in severity and can impact a person’s daily functioning in serious ways.
What You Need To Know
Here are some facts about generalized anxiety disorder:
- Generalized anxiety disorder impacts everyone with the condition differently. What will trigger symptoms is highly individual, and people may express symptoms differently as well.
- Generalized anxiety disorder is seen in all demographics and can impact people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. GAD can impact kids and teens as well as adults.
- Comorbidities such as depressive disorders and other anxiety disorders are common for those with generalized anxiety disorder.
- Statistics indicate that generalized anxiety disorder is more common in women than it is in men.
If you live with generalized anxiety disorder, you are not alone, and help is out there. Generalized anxiety disorder is highly treatable, and yet, only 43.2% are said to receive treatment. This is why increasing access to support and treatment is so vital for those with mental health conditions such as GAD.
Diagnosis And Treatment
To be formally diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder or any other mental health condition, you must see a qualified professional such as a psychiatrist. If you notice symptoms of an anxiety disorder in yourself, it is important to reach out for support. There are various treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder. Therapy is commonly used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. While the best and most effective treatment plan will vary from individual to individual, one of the most common forms of therapy for GAD is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. If the first form of treatment you try isn’t the right fit, or if the first therapist you see isn’t the right fit, know that it’s always okay to switch and try something new. It takes time for symptoms to improve, but it is worth it, and with support, many people with GAD are able to manage symptoms and live a happy, healthy, full, and vibrant life.
Whether you’re seeking support for symptoms of a mental health condition, life stressors, grief, interpersonal relationships, familial issues, or something else that’s on your mind, seeing a therapist or counselor can help. There are a variety of ways to find a therapist. You can ask your doctor for a referral, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, search the web, or use a website like Mind Diagnostics that can help you find a provider who meets your needs. All you have to do is type your zip code into the search bar, and you will find a range of providers who are licensed to practice in your area with a wide variety of specialties. On the Mind Diagnostics website, you’ll also find free online tests, like: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/borderline_personality_disorder-test/. Regardless of how you find a therapist or counselor, you deserve to get the support that you need, so don’t hesitate to take the first step.