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Understanding the Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Authored by Rodney Southern in Mental Health
Published on 04-04-2009

Anxiety disorders affect an average of 4 million adults in the United States. While there is no direct answer as to what actually causes generalized anxiety disorders, there are key factors to consider. These factors include but are not limited to; environmental stresses for work or home, genetics, and brain chemistry. In this article I will point out the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders.

The common misconceptions regarding generalized anxiety disorder involve panic attacks. While panic attacks can arise as a symptom of generalized anxiety disorders, it is typically not related. Panic attacks are more often with panic disorders which can occur simultaneously with generalized anxiety disorder. The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders are far more commonplace than you may realize.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • An ongoing sense of worry
  • Muscle tension
  • Insomnia
  • Startling easy
  • Nausea

The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are quite similar to those associated with depression. Insomnia, the overwhelming view of one’s current situation, and a constant sense of being tired are symptoms that the conditions share. The only key difference between them stem from the sense of worry. The sense of worry is a predominant factor in diagnosing any type of anxiety disorder.

The diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder is based on the severity and the duration of these symptoms. Frequent occurrence of these symptoms in an extended time period may indicate a more specific anxiety disorder. Specific anxiety disorders that share some of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder can include panic disorders, and those of an obsessive compulsive nature.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are more frequently reported in women. Generalized anxiety symptoms often tend to appear in adolescence. There is no known cure for the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders, although they can be controlled. Treatment for the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders, often combine medication with behavioral therapy.

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan are commonly used for short term treatment of generalized anxiety disorders. Anti-depressants are usually prescribed for the long term treatment of these symptoms, as benzodiazepines tend to be habit forming.

The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders can be made more tolerable by changing diet and lifestyle. Individuals susceptible to generalized anxiety disorders should avoid caffeine (in excess), and nicotine. These substances tend to intensify the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders. Implementation of relaxation techniques including meditation and yoga are also said to be of benefit in combating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders do have a tendency to reoccur. By understanding the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, you are more likely to get a proper diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms your physician can help.

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