By Adrian Zupp
We all worry. We all experience anxiety. After all, anxiety has helped us survive as a species and it is what keeps us out of harm’s way even now. But there’s a point when simple worry and “positive” anxiety cross over into pathology. For many, anxiety is a perpetual presence in their lives.
For these folks, everyday things are sources of anxiety. They may be aware that their worrying is unfounded, but they still can’t stop it. When this kind of behavior continues for six months or more, it is called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
In addition to those mentioned above, the symptoms of GAD are various and include: headaches and other body aches and pains; difficulty concentrating; an inability to relax; trouble falling or staying asleep; constant fatigue; irritability.
When we worry, we may experience some of these things. But, again, GAD is marked by its severity and persistence. A person with GAD can’t go for a jog and simply start to feel better.
Furthermore, GAD is not uncommon. In fact, approximately 2.8% of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 54 suffers from this disorder in any given year (approximately four million Americans). Treatment for GAD can involve a form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavior therapy; anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications; or some combination of the two.
A doctor can help start you down the best course to effective treatment (and always remember to ask plenty of questions!). But even before taking that step, you might wish to take a free, anonymous, online screening for GAD.
When it comes to your mental health, having good information is crucial. What you may have become “accustomed to” as daily worry may, in fact, be GAD. Why not take a quick screening and get a better handle on it?
Adrian Zupp is the marketing writer at Screening for Mental Health.