Make Up Post

Posted: December 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week on my blog I will be talking about generalized anxiety disorders.

Generalized anxiety disorder is also known as GAD.  It is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with Generalized anxiety disorder, the worry often is unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.

Generalized anxiety disorder affects the way a person thinks.  This type of anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well. Symptoms of Generalized anxiety disorder can be excessive, ongoing worry and tension, an unrealistic view of problems, restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”, irritability, muscle tension, headaches, sweating, difficulty concentrating, nausea, the need to go to the bathroom frequently, tiredness, trouble falling or staying asleep, trembling, or being easily startled.  People with this disorder usually have other similar disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.  They could suffer from depression, and/or abuse drugs or alcohol.

People that have Generalized anxiety disorder are usually referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental health professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses like GAD. Treatment for GAD most often includes a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Drugs are also available to treat Generalized anxiety disorder and may be especially helpful for people whose anxiety is interfering with daily functioning. The medications most often used to treat Generalized anxiety disorder in the short-term are from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These medications are sometimes referred to as “tranquilizers,” because they leave you feeling calm and relaxed. They work by decreasing the physical symptoms of Generalized anxiety disorder, such as muscle tension and restlessness.

The causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder aren’t known yet but it is believed that it can come from genetics, brain chemistry, and/or environmentalstresses. The tendency to develop GAD may be passed on in families.  The Generalized Anxiety Disorder is associated with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts in certain situations, leading to anxiety.  Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to GAD.  The use of or withdrawal from addictive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.

About 4 million adult Americans suffer from of Generalized Anxiety Disorder during the course of a year. It most often begins in childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood. It is more common in women than in men.

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