What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by its excessive and constant worry from several aspects of life. Individuals with GAD worry about many different concerns of life such as money, close relationships, or health. Even though their worries are normal the difference is that they are unable to control the persistent concern and it goes on for months at a time. Although their worries are bothersome, they believe there is value in it by protecting theirs and others safety. These individuals also believe that their worry helps them maintain high standards in job performance and school work. Many children, adolescents, and adults with this disorder are constantly seeking reassurance from friends and families and can make those close to them feel as though they are being badgered.
Generalized anxiety disorder affects roughly 3% to 5% of children, 1% of adolescents, and 3% to 5% of adults in the general population, although only a small percentage of afflicted individuals seek treatment. Females are about twice as likely as males to experience generalized anxiety disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms include:
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Stomach distress
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Feeling tense
- Head and neck pain
GAD is most commonly treated with Cognitive Therapy and medication. We will use cognitive therapy to teach the individual to tolerate doubt and how to solve problems that will help reduce tendencies towards perfectionism or trying to answer questions that have no guaranteed answers. Exposure therapy is also used to allow the patient to embrace uncertainty and engage in problem-solving one step at a time.