Generalized Anxiety Disorder (Anxiety, Panic Attacks, or Stress) is an actual diagnosis that has different symptoms for each individual. The symptoms can range from trouble falling asleep and headaches to hot flashes, urinating often and fatigue. Many of the symptoms seen in GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) are replicated in numerous mental health conditions.

GAD, also known as generalized anxiety disorder, is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people throughout the world. GAD and stress may seem interchangeable however they are very different. When looking at stress and GAD the best way to explain them is with cause and effect. Stress may be the cause which then makes generalized anxiety disorder the effect.

ETIOLOGY AND PATHOPHYSIOLOGY of GAD

May be mediated by abnormalities of neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin, norepinephrine, and γ-aminobutyric acid [GABA])

Associated with altered regional brain function (increased activity in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex)

This blog aims to begin the conversation around anxiety disorders and allow for others to learn about the available treatment, education, common symptoms, and known causes. We hope to provide professional support and guidance to those who are battling this debilitating condition.

  • Key Characteristics/Symptoms
    • Trouble Sleeping, Headaches, Muscle Aches, Sweating, Fatigue, Nausea, Agitation, Twitchy
    • Frequent Urination, Poor Focus, Inability to Relax, Easily Frightened, Negative Feelings
    • Persistent, excessive, and difficult-to-control worry associated with significant symptoms of motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, and/or disturbances of sleep or concentration.
    • System(s) affected: nervous (increased sympathetic tone and catecholamine release), cardiac (tachycardia), pulmonary (dyspnea), and GI (nausea, irregular bowels)
  • Major Known Causes
    • Inability to Cope with Internal Stress / Chronic Illnesses or Chronic Stress
    • Genetic (not known why some get it and others do not)
    • Medication or Substance Use / Side Effect of other Medical Conditions (i.e., Hyperthyroidism)

 Social Interactions: When it comes to feeling anxious around others and various social interactions it is best to seek advice from a medical professional that can assist with diagnosis by understanding the root cause of GAD. This will allow for an increased possibility of finding positive ways to address the symptoms of GAD.

Support System: It is important to understand the support system for an individual dealing with GAD. Again, this may look different based on the symptoms presenting and the root cause as well as triggers for each individual.

Recovery: Best treatments for GAD involve a combination of prescriptions for both medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Research has shown that while an individual may deal with GAD long term it does lessen as an individual gets older.

Conclusion: Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a complex and challenging mental health condition, and with proper support there is hope in learning how to manage and overcome GAD. By continuing to promote increased understanding it empowers others to get help or help someone else. If you are struggling with a Mental Health Condition, please seek help and begin the journey towards healing and recovery. We at Porter Elite Care can help with treating GAD and other related Mental Health Conditions. You are not alone, and there is a brighter tomorrow ahead!

COMMONLY ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

  • Major depressive disorder (>60%), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia
  • Alcohol/drug abuse; cigarette smoking
  • Panic disorder, agoraphobia, phobia, social anxiety disorder, anorexia nervosa, PTSD, , ADHD
  • Somatoform and pain disorders

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