General Anxiety Disorder Facebook twitter

General Anxiety Disorder Facebook twitter

Generalized anxiety disorder is an excessive and uncontrollable feeling of worry or worry about various things. This condition may be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as profuse sweating, difficulty breathing, or palpitations.

Generalized anxiety disorder can affect anyone, but it is most common in adults over the age of 30. When this condition occurs, sufferers generally cannot explain why they feel anxious or worry excessively.

If left unchecked, generalized anxiety disorder can cause sufferers to always feel anxious and worried. As a result, sufferers are at risk of experiencing interference in carrying out daily activities, as well as withdrawing from social life.

Common Anxiety Disorder Causes

The exact cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not known. However, this condition is thought to be related to a number of factors, such as:

  • Family history of generalized anxiety disorder
  • History of trauma or stressful events, such as  bullying  or bullying
  • History of  drug abuse , alcohol addiction, or disorders of the nervous system
  • Diseases that require long-term treatment, such as arthritis
  • Certain conditions, such as being often  talkative  or experiencing hypochondriasis

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety or  anxiety  is a natural thing, especially if under certain pressures or conditions. However, if anxiety and worry become uncontrollable, excessive, even to the point of interfering with daily activities, then this could be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder .

There are several symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder that can be recognized, including:

  • Feeling excessively anxious and worried  about various conditions
  • Overthinking about plans and solutions for every worst-case scenario that doesn't necessarily arise
  • Easily offended, restless, nervous, and cornered
  • Feeling doubtful, afraid, and difficult to make a decision
  • It's hard to concentrate

In addition, generalized anxiety disorder can also cause some physical symptoms, such as:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Hard to breathe
  • Headache
  • Shiver
  • Muscle ache
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Heart beat
  • Always feeling tired
  • Urinate more frequently
  •  Recurrent stomach pain, nausea , or diarrhea

When to go to the doctor

Check with  your doctor  if you experience anxiety and worry that is excessive, uncontrollable, and interferes with daily activities, or if you experience the complaints mentioned above.

You should also check with your doctor if you have a history of other mental disorders, such as  panic disorder  obsessive compulsive disorder ( OCD ), or  depression .

If you have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, make regular checkups with your doctor to monitor the progress of the condition.

Diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder

To diagnose generalized anxiety disorder, the doctor will ask questions about symptoms, medical history, drug use, and illnesses in the family. The doctor will also ask questions about daily life, activities, and the state of the surrounding environment.

The doctor will use the criteria of  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (  DSM-5) to diagnose generalized anxiety disorder. Some of these criteria are:

  • Anxiety and worry are excessive and last all the time for at least 6 months
  • The feeling of worry is difficult to control
  • The symptoms experienced cause interference in activities
  • Complaints are not based on a disease or special health condition

In addition, the anxiety and fear are accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling restless, uninspired, and cornered
  • Feel tired
  • Easily offended
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Having trouble sleeping (including having trouble falling asleep or wanting to sleep all the time)

If other conditions or diseases are suspected as underlying the complaint, the doctor will ask the patient to undergo supporting tests, such as a urine test or blood test.

General Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Treatment for generalized anxiety disorder includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. These two steps will usually be combined according to the patient's needs. Here's the explanation:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT) aims to enable patients to recognize and change patterns of thinking and behavior that make them anxious. This therapy helps patients not to think negatively and be able to think more realistically.

Patients need to devote 1 hour each week to 1 session of CBT therapy for 3-4 months. During the CBT therapy session, the psychiatrist or psychologist will also teach relaxation techniques so that the patient is able to calm down when facing situations that can trigger anxiety.


In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy, the doctor will give you several types of drugs to reduce symptoms. There are several types of drugs that are usually given to treat generalized anxiety disorder, including:

  • Antidepressants Antidepressant
    drugs  belonging  to  the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class are used to increase serotonin in the brain. Meanwhile  , serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors  (SNRIs) are used to increase serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain.
  • Pregabalin
    Although better known as a drug to treat seizures in epilepsy and neuropathic pain,  pregabalin  can also be used to treat anxiety disorders.
  • Benzodiazepines
    Benzodiazepines  are a class  of sedative drugs  given to sufferers of severe generalized anxiety disorder. The goal of giving this drug is to relieve symptoms and complaints of generalized anxiety disorder in a short time.

Keep in mind that patients need to regularly check with their doctor during treatment so that their condition is always monitored. Routine checks can be done every 2-4 weeks in the first 3 months since the use of drugs.

In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy and medication, there are several efforts that patients can take to relieve the symptoms they are experiencing, namely:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as  meditation  and  yoga
  • Avoid caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol consumption

Complications of General Anxiety Disorder

If generalized anxiety disorder is not treated immediately, excessive anxiety and worry can make the sufferer unable to carry out daily activities. Generalized anxiety disorder can also cause sleep disturbances, which if allowed to drag on can be detrimental to health.

In addition, generalized anxiety disorder can make sufferers depressed, making them more prone to abusing drugs or becoming addicted to alcohol . In some sufferers, generalized anxiety disorder can also cause abnormal hoarding behavior ( hoarding disorder ).

Prevention of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

There are several things you can do to prevent generalized anxiety disorder, including:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough rest and sleep
  • Eat  a balanced nutritious diet
  • Take up exercises to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or keep a daily journal
  • Stay away from alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
  • Reduce consumption of foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, and tea
  • Check with the doctor if you experience traumatic things that interfere with your thoughts and daily activities
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