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Generalized anxiety disorder


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Generalized anxiety disorder

  1. 1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  2. 2. What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder <ul><li>Generalized anxiety disorder is an affliction of intense worry and anxiety. </li></ul><ul><li>GAD is characterized by your worrying interfering with your everyday life </li></ul>
  3. 3. Normal vs. GAD <ul><li>It is normal for everyone to worry but people with generalized anxiety disorder bring it to a new level. </li></ul><ul><li>Ex: Your spouse is on a flight but was supposed to call you when they landed. It is now twenty minutes after they were supposed to land so you begin thinking that the plane has crashed. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Causes <ul><li>An exact cause for generalized anxiety disorder has not yet been found but a variety of factors can contribute: </li></ul><ul><li>Genetics </li></ul><ul><li>Abnormal levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental factors </li></ul>
  5. 5. The major symptoms <ul><li>Excessive worry or tension </li></ul><ul><li>Restlessness </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty concentrating </li></ul><ul><li>Nausea </li></ul><ul><li>Headaches </li></ul>
  6. 6. Other symptoms <ul><li>Muscle tension </li></ul><ul><li>Tiredness </li></ul><ul><li>Need to use the bathroom often </li></ul><ul><li>Trembling </li></ul><ul><li>Easily startled </li></ul>
  7. 7. How many people are afflicted <ul><li>Approximately 9 million Americans are or have been afflicted with Generalized anxiety disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>Of those 9 million about half will have it their entire life with the other half having their symptoms dissipate after 12months. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Diagnosis <ul><li>Self diagnosis is the most common way. </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals try to discern whether it is Generalized anxiety disorder or whether a traumatic event or substance abuse is playing a large role in the patient’s anxiety </li></ul>
  9. 9. Can medications help? <ul><li>While medications can help they are usually only used as a stepping stone in severe cases to help alleviate some symptoms before therapy start to help. </li></ul><ul><li>Some drugs used include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buspirone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benzodiazepines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Antidepressants (usually won’t help for at least 6 weeks) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Therapies <ul><li>Cognitive-behavioral therapies are the most effective and common way to combat Generalized anxiety disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>It uses a 5 step program of self help and therapy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education- distinguish between good and bad worry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring- discover what, when, why you worry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical Control Strategies- deep breathing to relax </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive Control Strategies- evaluate and alter your thinking patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral Strategies- face your fears head on to eliminate them </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How can one help oneself? <ul><li>Simple lifestyle and thinking changes such as accepting uncertainty in life can drastically reduce symptoms. </li></ul><ul><li>Eating healthier, not smoking, not drinking caffine, and exercising can all help </li></ul><ul><li>Other things such as meditation and listening to relaxing music can also help </li></ul>
  12. 12. Interference with your life <ul><li>Intense anxiety can cause difficulty in relationships by always worrying about what your partner may be doing (clinging) </li></ul><ul><li>It can also impact your work performance by distracting you and causing you to get off task by worrying </li></ul>
  13. 13. How it feels <ul><li>I was not expecting my life to be ruled by anxiety the way it has. I have always worried about things from time to time but ever since ninth grade when I was diagnosed it has been unbearable. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>My doctor tells me to use breathing exercises and to eat healthier but I already do eat very healthy, I’m practically a vegetarian except for the occasional fish. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>This anxiety has taken over my life in many ways. I have even lost friends and haven’t even been able to get a girlfriend because I constantly worry about everyone and what they REALLY meant when they said that. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Recently I have really tried to combat my anxiety. I have accepted that it is part of me but I can change how I react to it. Now whenever I feel worry coming on I try to stay in my situation and remain calm. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Although GAD isn’t uncommon I am the only person I know with it. I live in a small town so I can’t really relate or talk with anyone about it but my doctor and parents, I just wish I had a friend who could relate. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Going to school can sometimes be really hard. It seems that concrete building is the source of all my worries; with grades, relationships, and so many negative influences sometimes I can hardly breathe. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>One of the worst parts of my diagnosis was the interrogation by both my doctor and parents because they thought drug abuse was causing my anxiety. I was drug tested 3 days for a month before my parents were satisfied I wasn’t on anything. The sad thing is that I’ve never even had a sip of alcohol let alone anything else. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>For all of the negativities and hardships that this illness brings me at least it’s curable. I am extremely grateful that I can manage and cure my disease even if it will take some hard work on my part. </li></ul>