GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by excessive worry. If you are reading this you are probably thinking that "everyone" worries, so how can GAD be a form of mental illness? The answer to this question is actually fairly simple. A person who worries in the normal range, may stress over every day things, such as kids, money, health, etc. An individual who has GAD will worry about things that are highly unlikely to happen and will obsess over tiny things. For example, if your spouse is two minutes late from work, the average person will sweep it under the rug and probably assume there may have been some additional traffic. Someone suffering from GAD will explode with unrealistic worries. Their thoughts will probably assume the worst. After 60 seconds of their spouse not arriving, they may assume that they have been murdered, attacked or died in a car accident. They may go into panic mode, pacing the floors or beginning to call friends or family members.
It is not uncommon for a person suffering from this illness to constantly believe they are sick or dying. They may go to the doctor for every sniff or sneeze and equate the smallest signs of illness as having cancer or something devastating. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are no main causes for Generalized Anxiety Disorders. However, medical doctors speculate that the illness can begin around the teen and young adult years, either progressing or going away. It can take several years to get a correct diagnosis on GAD, partially because the people who are suffering are actually feeling pain, even though there is nothing medically wrong with them. Many doctors will treat them for a physical pain before realizing or recognizing that it is mental. GAD can have several symptoms including the following (WEB MD):
- EXCESSIVE WORRYING
- UNREALISTIC VIEW OF LIFE
- MUSCLE TENSION
- DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING
- FREQUENT URINATION
- EXCESSIVE TIREDNESS
- STARTLED EASILY
If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, talk to your doctor about the possibility of being a victim to GAD. They will have a better gauge of your symptoms or if there may possibly be another issue that has surfaced. Treatment of GAD may include cognitive therapy, Anxiety medication and a complete lifestyle change. No one should have to suffer through this alone. Having extensive anxiety problems can lead to many physical, mental and social disabilities. If anxiety is taking over your life, it is time to take back your life and start living more peacefully.
What is GAD?
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"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25-27),"