Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can be defined as a disorder in which the sufferer feels in a constant state of high anxiety about everyday things and is often known as ‘chronic worrying’ or a ‘free floating’ anxiety condition.
We all suffer with worry from time to time, but the thing that makes GAD different from “normal worry” is that the worry is prolonged (it lasts for over 6 months), and the level of worry is out of proportion to the risk. For example someone that is suffering from GAD will think that if their partner is late home from work without calling to say so, then they will have had an accident.
People with GAD are generally hypervigilant, the term “hyper” in hypervigilance refers to above normal or unreasonable and is a state of strong nervous energy. People may also experiences an intense need to keep busy a need to avoid distressing mental images, feeling constantly “on edge”, a sense of dread and restlessness. Alongside this sufferers can experience physical symptoms such as but not limited too, dizziness, drowsiness and tiredness, muscle aches, tension, stomach ache, nausea headaches, diarrhoea and frequent urinating.
Treatment of General anxiety disorder varies from person to person but sufferers are sometimes encouraged to set aside a period of approximately 1 hour of “worry time”. This is a specific period of time,during the day that a person can worry about anything they want. This can help the sufferer focus during their day and say to themselves “I am not going to worry about this now, I have my worry time later today and I will focus on that during my worry time”. This can also help the sufferer that says ” I worry all the time” discover that it was not possible for them to worry for the entire hour of “worry time”‘ so demonstrates that they are not always worrying and can also help the person to recognise times when they are not anxious.
If you are finding that your anxiety and worries are taking over your everyday life then please speak to someone and seek help, life doesn’t have to be a struggle and with the right treatment the world can seem not such an anxious place to live in.