GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) is is characterized by general, constant, and often debilitating high levels of anxiety.
The persistent worries are experienced as uncontrollable and excessive. Often the worries may appear to others as disproportionate to their actual source, but not to the persons experiencing them. The persons will habitually try to either control their worries or control the concerns related to their worries. In many cases, the attempts made by the sufferers to control the sources of worries may appear to others as futile and ineffective.
There is variation in experiencing these symptoms from person to person or from one stressful moment to another within the same person. For example, some clients reported that in their most anxious moments they also experienced palpitations or pounding of the heart, or an increasingly accelerated heart rate similar to those experiencing Panic Attacks or affected by Panic Disorder.
In addition to their exaggerated responses to minor surprises or being easily startled, clients usually talk about what they cannot do, similar to other anxiety disorders. Typically, they:
Typically, persons suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are overly concerned with common, everyday matters such as:
Persons experiencing ongoing, unresolved stress such as redundancy or unemployment, those suffering the deep sadness of grief and loss or chronic illnesses or health issues, such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes may also develop Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Persons who have experienced traumatic episodes in childhood or those who have experienced events or situations that could lead to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) may also develop Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
As persons suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) typically anticipate disasters, they usually find it very hard to relax since some of their worst worries creep into their minds when they are alone or when they lie in bed. Many clients with symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) also reported about their sleep problems such as insomnia, unsatisfying sleep (e.g. waking up tired and feeling sleepy throughout the day) or teeth grinding (bruxism). Some clients also reported about ongoing abdominal distress or having been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Although people affected by Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experience a persistent and chronic anxiety, they usually cannot trace their anxiety to a particular problem, situation or moment in time.
Untreated, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can become chronic, leading to other problems in the person's life, such as relationship problems, stress and work related problems or a decline in general health.
In my experience of counselling children and teenagers I have come to realise that children and adolescents can also suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Teenagers seem to be particularly at risk of developing this disorder, probably because adolescence is often a confusing and difficult period in the life of young people.
With proper treatment Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can be managed or eliminated effectively.
Please note that the information on this page should not be used for self-diagnosis or to diagnose others. If you feel that you can relate to one or more of the GAD symptoms described above, contact me now for a confidential discussion and to get help for your problem.
GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) can be treated with psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.