Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms and Causes

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

To feel worried from time to time is normal. Most of us feel anxious about everyday experience. This is because the world that we are living in is so demanding that sometimes coping can be hard.

However, excessive feeling of anxiousness can be a different story. Some people find it hard to control their anxiety. As a result, their daily activities are impaired. People in this condition may have been suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.

The generalized anxiety disorder is found among children and adult. Having this condition can be a long-term difficult challenge. In most cases, GAD occurs along with other mood disorders.

Like other disorders, GAD has several psychological and physical symptoms. Fortunately, the symptoms can be minimized or improved through psychotherapy and medications.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

GAD has the following psychological symptoms:

  • Inability to handle uncertain situations
  • Difficulty to pay attention to details
  • Focusing on the possible negative outcomes
  • Feeling worried about committing wrong decisions
  • Always perceive situations as threatening
  • Having difficulty to relax

Physical symptoms

  • Having muscle tension
  • Physical fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Experience irritability
  • Easily feel nervous or startled

People who have GAD feel anxious even without reason. Most of the time, people with a generalized anxiety disorder may unreasonably feel worried about the safety of their loved ones. The anxiety stems from having false anticipation like an impending bomb explosion which is unlikely to occur.

GAD causes distress and impairment on a day to day life. People with generalized anxiety disorder have difficulty in coping with daily challenges in a workplace and in a relationship.

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Like other psychological problems, GAD may have several causes. But most of the time, it stems from the interaction between biological and environmental factors such as:

  • Neural functioning
  • Neural chemistry
  • Personality factors
  • Genetics
  • Life experiences

Preventive measures

It is hard to predict when does GAD strike. But you can always take some steps to reduce the possibility of acquiring it. Or, at least, reduce the impact of generalized anxiety disorder in your life.

  1. Like any type of diseases, GAD requires immediate professional attention. A person who experiences its symptoms should find help immediately.
  2. Keeping a daily journal is helpful for professionals to determine the factors that might have caused the problem.
  3. Proper time management. Anxiety usually occurs when you can’t cope up with life demands. One way of staying healthy is setting and knowing your priorities.
  4. Lastly, avoid alcohol and drug use. These substances are addictive. The process of quitting can be hard. And to most people, it can lead to a high level of anxiety.


The treatment of generalized anxiety disorder is dependent on the severity of the condition. Generally, there are two kinds of treatments: psychotherapy and medication. In most cases, these treatment methods are usually combined to attain maximum benefits.

Along with a professional intervention, a person with generalized anxiety disorder needs social support. Socialization is a big help. Family support is even more important and helpful to help a family member who suffers from GAD.

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