It's quite normal for people to have feelings of anxiety once in a while. This is especially true for people who live stressful lives. But when the anxiety becomes excessive, then it becomes a problem. You might start feeling so anxious that you can't control it and it interferes with your life. When you feel this way, you may already suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder.

Children and adults have the potential to develop this disorder. The common symptoms are similar to OCD, panic disorder, and other kinds of anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder is a long-term condition. You can usually treat this with medications of psychotherapy. You can also learn relaxation techniques. Try some coping skills and make some changes in your lifestyle. Here are 10 of the common symptoms and treatments of this disorder:

Persistent Worrying

Although a lot of people worry, those with generalized anxiety disorder worry differently. Their level of worry is usually constant and way out of proportion. Such people are also unable to let go of their worries. It's not a normal kind of worrying. It often interferes with a person's relationships, work, and other aspects of life. Aside from this, people with the disorder worry uncontrollably.

One great way to treat this symptom is through psychotherapy. In fact, this is the most common treatment for emotional symptoms of the disorder. You'd have to work with a therapist to learn how to lessen the worrying and other symptoms. The most effective type of psychotherapy for GAD is cognitive behavioral therapy.




Since the disorder comes with a lot of symptoms, they may start to affect your physical state. You might start to sweat too much, have diarrhea or even feel frequently nauseated. If these symptoms keep up, you'll start feeling fatigued. You may also experience trembling, hot flashes, and frequent urges to pee.

Although it may seem counterproductive, you can try to keep yourself physically active. Set a routine in which you have physical activities on different days of the week. It's a fact that exercise reduces stress significantly. It's a mood-booster, and it will keep you healthy. If you're not feeling it, start with simple exercises and gradually build up your routine.




Over-thinking becomes a symptom of a generalized anxiety disorder when it's excessive. You start thinking too much about plans, solutions, and all outcomes of a situation. You always expect the worst without actually executing any of your plans. Then, people who over-think too much start to become anxious and depressed.

To treat this symptom, try learning how to let things go. The more you dwell on problems and such, the heavier the burden becomes. If this doesn't work and the feelings worsen, you may talk to your doctor. The doctor can prescribe anti-anxiety medication which you may use as needed.



Twitchy or trembling feeling

Another common symptom is having a constant twitchy or trembling feeling. You can startle such people easily because they're usually nervous. They might experience a rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, and even physical shaking. Understandably, these people may also start becoming irritable as time goes by.

One way to treat this symptom is to practice meditation. Studies show that purposeful meditation can change a person's brain. It boosts brain activity in the areas of the brain which control positive feelings. When you feel less nervous, these symptoms may fade away along with it.



Fear of uncertainty

People who suffer from this disorder may also start developing a fear of uncertainty. Such people will start seeing events and situations as threatening. This is their perception no matter how simple the situations are. If you find uncertainty a challenge and you worry for months on end, you may suffer from this disorder. Even if someone explains a situation to you, you still have an unrealistic perception of them. The worst part is, you're aware that you're overreacting, but you can't shake off the anxiety.

Again, the best way to treat this symptom is through cognitive behavioral therapy. With such treatment, you'll learn how to control your feelings and manage your fear. As time goes by, you'll notice that the symptoms will gradually improve.



Sleep problems

When you're constantly anxious, you may start experiencing sleep problems. This symptom of GAD is quite exhausting. Then you'll start feeling jumpy, edgy or restless because of the lack of sleep. Aside from having trouble falling asleep, you may also find it hard to stay asleep. The main reason for this is that people who suffer from this disorder can't quiet their minds.

If you're aware that you have the disorder, try to make sleep one of your priorities. After all, it's important to keep you healthy. Do whatever you can to ensure that you're sleeping enough. If you don't get enough sleep at night, consult with your doctor.




This is when a person is afraid of making decisions out of fear of making the wrong one. People suffering from GAD know that they have higher anxiety levels, but they don't want to admit it. They may feel so ashamed or embarrassed that they don't want to address the problem. So, when faced with choices, they never end up making one because of their fear.

One thing that can help with this is to use different relaxation techniques. These can help relax and clear the mind. Yoga, meditation, and even visualization methods may help. With these, a person can overcome this particular symptom of the disorder.



Muscle Tension

People with generalized anxiety disorder are always feeling tense. Because of this, they may start experiencing tension in the muscles. This may lead to muscle aches and pains. Such people are also fidgety, jumpy, and startle easily. They're very restless and seem to be on edge all the time.

In order to treat muscle tension, you may try progressive muscle relaxation. This helps release the tension in your muscles which will then relax your mind too.



Difficulty concentrating

GAD sufferers may also find it extremely hard to concentrate. The mind focuses on so many things that the person is unable to concentrate on what he/she needs to do. Either that or the person is so overwhelmed that his/her mind goes blank. This then hinders the person from performing tasks efficiently and on time.

It takes a lot of awareness and control to focus on one thing. If you're finding it hard to concentrate, you can start taking steps to improve the situation. If you have any tasks to do, try doing them one at a time so you can concentrate better.



Other physical symptoms

Finally, people who suffer from GAD may also experience different physical symptoms. These include neurological symptoms such as tingling or numbness in different body parts. A person may also experience chest pain or tightness and palpitations. In severe cases, one might even feel like he's having a heart attack. Other symptoms include breathing difficulties and feeling lightheaded, dizzy or faint.

For these kinds of symptoms, you can employ deep breathing techniques. When a person is anxious, the tendency is to breathe faster. This usually causes the other symptoms. Breathe deeply through diaphragm. In doing so, you make yourself calm and reverse the symptoms.



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