Dr. Hafez Amin

Consultant Psychiatrist 

Yas Healthcare (Saada Branch)

Abu Dhabi
طبيب نفسي Psychiatrist

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition. Unlike normal worries, anxiety related to GAD is not triggered by a specific event. These worries do not fade or get better with time. GAD interferes with relationships, work, and school.

GAD symptoms can vary from mild to severe. People with severe GAD can have intense waves of anxiety with physical symptoms that are similar to panic attacks.

The following factors may make you more likely to develop this condition:
  • Being female.
  • Having a family history of anxiety disorders.
  • Being very shy.
  • Experiencing very stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one.
  • Having a very stressful family environment.

People with GAD often worry excessively about many things in their lives, such as their health and family.

Symptoms Generalized Anxiety Disorder may include:

Mental and emotional symptoms:
  • Worrying excessively with Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
Behavioral symptoms:
  • Experiencing erratic moods or irritability.
  • Avoidance of new situations.
  • Avoidance of people.
  • Extreme difficulty making decisions.
Physical symptoms:
  • Inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches, muscle tension, muscle twitches, trembling, or feeling shaky.
  • Feeling like your heart is pounding or beating very fast.
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Feeling out of breath or like you cannot take a deep breath.
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sweating.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

To be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, a person must have anxiety that:

  • Is out of his or her control.
  • Affects several different aspects of his or her life, such as work and relationships.
  • Causes distress that makes him or her unable to take part in normal activities.
  • Includes at least three symptoms of GAD, such as restlessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep problems.

Before your health care provider can confirm a diagnosis of GAD, these symptoms must be present more days than they are not, and they must last for 6 months or longer.

Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Medicine:

Antidepressant medicine is usually prescribed for long-term daily control. Anti-anxiety medicines may be added in severe cases, especially when panic attacks occur.

Talk therapy (psychotherapy):

Certain types of talk therapy can be helpful in treating GAD by providing support, education, and guidance. Options include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT):

People learn coping skills and self-calming techniques to ease their physical symptoms. They learn to identify unrealistic thoughts and behaviors and to replace them with more appropriate thoughts and behaviors.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT):

This treatment teaches people how to be mindful as a way to cope with unwanted thoughts and feelings.

Biofeedback:

This process trains you to manage your body’s response (physiological response) through breathing techniques and relaxation methods. You will work with a therapist while machines are used to monitor your physical symptoms.

Stress management techniques.

These include yoga, meditation, and exercise.

A mental health specialist can help determine which treatment is best for you. Some people see improvement with one type of therapy. However, other people require a combination of therapies.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

Related articles

Yas Helthcare – Saada Branch
Al Mustarhim St off Murour Street
Dr Hafez Amin Clinic Hours
Sunday to Thursday
10am – 5pm