All of us become anxious now and then. These feelings of anxiety help us to cope with the situations which call forth these feelings in the first place. It helps us stay on our toes, discerning quickly what can be done to cope with the problems that beset us.
There are people, however, for whom these feeling can be debilitating. Their anxieties are more of the generalized sort…that is, it cannot be traced to any one cause. General anxiety disorder has the person feeling greatly upset, all the time, for reasons he cannot fathom. He feels apprehensive, generally fearful, worried all the time. This is different from a panic attack which is usually triggered by a definite situation or the anticipation of that situation. The onset of the attack is quick, sudden. A person suffering from a general anxiety disorder cannot pinpoint the exact cause of his anxieties.He worries about anything and everything. There are some days, a few, when he is not as worried as in certain days. But on the whole, a general anxiety disorder is characterized by a lingering worried, fretful, and anxious disposition of a severe, chronic kind.
When anxiety is of the serious, prevailing type, it is invasive of a person’s health. It is not unusual that a wide variety of symptoms, understandably referred to as generalized anxiety symptoms, would occur. These may be physical or psychological in nature. What are the more common of these?
Most people with generalize anxiety disorder have respiratory and cardiovascular problems. They become so caught up in anticipation of grave danger or consequences that they may find it difficult to breathe. Their heart palpitates. The pulse quickens. Some may even experience chest pains.
Others may suffer from stomach problems. Indigestion, vomiting, ulcers, GERD are some of the most usual pains that accompany the anxieties.
A patient with this disorder may also show some psychological symptoms. He may subscribe to feelings of insecurity. Generally apprehensive of what may happen, he predictably will lack poise and assurance. He is not likely to portray a self-confident demeanor. He is easily intimidated by situations or people, sensitive to real or imagined criticisms.
Some patients may think of consulting a medical specialist for their symptoms. They are likely to go to a general practitioner or a specialist in the fields of cardiology, pulmonary or gastroenterology, depending on the symptoms that persist. Frequently, though, these medical experts are not likely to find a medical, physical basis for the pains. The expertise of a psychiatrist or a psychologist may then be sought to recommend generalized anxiety disorder treatments.
Oral drug-based treatments can help control how frequently and how severely the anxieties set in. It is important that use is closely monitored. Extensive usage may have some unwanted consequences. Also, the relief that these medications bring may be fleeting. If the patient stops taking them, after some time, given the environmental factors that have brought on the anxieties in the first place, the symptoms will come back. On the other hand, the drugs cannot be used on a permanent basis. Otherwise, the patient may develop drug dependence which is counter-productive. Or the drugs may bring an onslaught of side effects which are also difficult to deal with.
Cognitive and behavioral therapy is usually recommended for patients with this disorder. Done under the supervision of professionals trained in this field, the patient slowly learns to understand, control, and manage his anxieties. He is taught how to rein in his thoughts and feelings, as well as consciously change his behavior. The control he achieves will help him better manage the anxieties.2016-08-19