Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can range from needing contant reassurance to irritability. The hallmark of this disorder is excessive worry out of proportion to the situation.
The anxiety may be so severe that it is unrelenting and goes on for months. It may affect your daily activities and overwhelm your thinking process.
For example, if a friend doesn't return a phone call you worry that the relationship is over. Watching events on the evening news provokes anxious thoughts that those events will happen to you.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms (or GAD)are both physical AND psychological symptoms. You do not have to have all the symptoms on the list, but if you have the majority of them, then you probably do have GAD.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms-Physical
- Muscle tension and chronic aches
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Tremors and shakes
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Fatigue and weakness
- Exagerated startle reflex
- Constant need for reasurrance
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty concentrating and performing tasks
- Inability to control anxious thoughts
- Fear of losing control or fear of rejection
- Feelings of dread
- Constant "what if" fears about the future
- Short term memory loss
Generalized Anxiety Disorder TreatmentGeneralized anxiety disorder treatment involves counseling and medications. Counseling should include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This type of therapy cna help you recognize the symptoms of anxiety and develop skills to offset the sypmtoms. No side effects either! CBT examines the disortions of GAD and the way you perceive the world. It then helps you reshape and redefine those perceptions.
Medications for GAD are usually one of three types and sometimes in more severe cases several medications may be needed.
Buspar or buspirone is a good drug for mild anxiety but may take several weeks to have its full effect. It is not addicting and non-sedating.
Anti-depressants are also utlized. In this class, two of the SSRI's or seratonin reuptake inhibitors are indicated for anxiety. Paxil(paroxitine) and Lexapro (escitolapram) work well for mild to moderate anxiety. The really nice thing about Lexapro is that it can start to have positive effects in about 10 days. These medications are also non-additictve and generally do not cause sedation.
Benzodiazapines are the third type of drug used for GAD. They are very fast acting and take effect within 30-60 minutes. They are good choices for sudden anxiety that is severe or disabling. Medications such as Ativan and Xanax do have some addictive properties and may cause some sedation. I prefer to use Klonopin (clonazapam) which tends to have less side effects.
You can download a FREE ebook on GAD and educate yourself more about generalize anxiety disorder symptoms. This book is courtesty of the Center for Clinical Interventions and they have more information here.
Read more about causes of anxiety attacks.