Generalised Anxiety Disorder

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Overview

Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness. Generalised anxiety disorder generates chronic, exaggerated worrying about everyday life. This worrying consumes hours each day, making it hard to concentrate or finish daily tasks.

The anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms not only interfere with daily activities, but it may also be accompanied with physical symptoms, such as restlessness, easily fatigued, concentration difficulty, muscle tension or sleeping problems.

Symptom

Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder include.

Excessive or ongoing worry/tension restlessness, feeling on-edge

Unrealistic view of problems

Easily fatigued

Concentration difficulty

Increased irritability

Muscle tesion problems eg. headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains

Difficulty in feeling of worry control

Sleep problems

Those symptoms are not caused by a medical problem or other conditions and last at least 6 months.

When to see doctor

Feelings of anxiety at certain times are normal, but if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, further evaluation is needed.

See doctor if,

Worrying is too much and interfere with work, relationships or other parts of your life

Difficult to control feeling of fear, worry or anxiety

Feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety

Anxiety that could be linked to a physical health problems

When to get emergency help

Having suicidal thoughts or behaviors, immediate emergency treatment is needed.

Diagnosis

Physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder can be easily confused with other medical conditions eg. heart disease, hyperthyroidism. An evaluation involving a physical examination, an interview and lab tests should be performed individually. After ruling out an underlying physical illness. Specific mental test might be used to identify the specific type of anxiety.

Treatment

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.

Medication

Psychotherapy eg. cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

Other lifestyle habits modification might also help eg. exercise, avoiding caffeine, avoiding alcohol and other drugs, meditation, relaxation techniques etc.