Sometimes, people with GAD will have symptoms that further support the diagnosis. Although these are not officially part of the criteria, they help to reassure that GAD is the appropriate diagnosis. These symptoms include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Being easily startled
Other symptoms that are associated with anxiety but NOT GAD include:
- Shortness of breath
- Quicker heart rate
These physical effects might be more related to a phobia or panic disorder rather than GAD.
- Females are twice as likely to be diagnosed with GAD
- People of European descent have GAD more frequently than people with ancestral connections to other parts of the world
- GAD can be diagnosed across someone’s lifespan, with 30 being the average age of onset
- Adults with GAD commonly worried excessively as children
- Younger adults with GAD tend to have symptoms more severe than older adults with GAD
The Next Step
Before you tell yourself your condition does not warrant treatment, consider the idea that many people who could benefit from mental health treatment do not seek it because they do not believe their symptoms deserve such action.
This could be an enormous error, because conditions like generalized anxiety disorder rarely get better on their own. Instead, the condition is known to have periods of relapse and recovery where symptoms will diminish only to return later.
Some people become fooled into thinking that they are “cured” and avoid treatment when symptoms improve, only to be surprised when they return later.
If you believe you might have the condition, seek an evaluation from a professional.
This assessment can provide a better understanding of your mental health and the true impact it has on your life. Also, it can provide you with possible treatment options like:
- Counseling, including cognitive behavioral therapy
- Medication management with drugs proven to reduce unwanted symptoms
- Lifestyle changes like improved diet, exercise routines, and identifying anxiety triggers to diminish your stress
The worst decision is the choice to do nothing. GAD is very treatable with practical solutions.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be challenging to differentiate from normal, healthy worry. By investigating the symptoms and criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association, you can begin to assess your individual status.
If the signs are pointing towards the diagnosis, seek out the professional opinion of a respected mental health specialist. With proper acknowledgment of the condition and minor modifications, GAD can be G-O-N-E.