Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder / Treatment of generalised anxiety disorder
People with generalised anxiety disorder or GAD are constant worriers. They may worry excessively about day to day issues like their family, finances or work. If you have generalised anxiety disorder you may worry excessively about bad things happening in the future and feel a constant state of anxiety or tension throughout the day for no real reason. There are often physical symptoms also like body aches, constant exhaustion and difficulty sleeping.
The main thing about generalised anxiety disorder is that the level of anxiety is so constant and unrelenting that it has an impact on a person’s day to day life. You might find yourself saying or thinking things like “I wish I could stop my mind racing, it goes on all day and I can’t turn it off”.
The difference between normal worry and generalised anxiety disorder is:
your worries significantly impact your day to day life, your job, family and relationships
you can’t control your worries
your worries cause you significant upset and stress
you worry about most things and you tend to expect the worst to happen
this level of worry has been going on for 6 months or more
Adapted from helpguide.org
The good news is help is readily available for the treatment of generalised anxiety. Select Counsellors can help you find a counsellor who is the best fit for you
Treatment for generalised anxiety disorder
Self help techniques can make a big difference if you are suffering from generalised anxiety disorder and can include things such as:
Managing your anxiety better this includes getting better at accepting change and uncertainty in your life, challenging irrational worry and trying to be more realistic in the way you think.
Take care of yourself and your health this might include being more aware of your diet, reducing caffeine, exercising more and asking for support when you need it.
Learning to relax this is important for people with generalised anxiety who don’t often relax easily. You could try meditation and deep breathing or activities that calm the senses like walking somewhere with natural beauty, listening to some soothing music, lighting candles and incense.
If after attempting to manage your anxiety you still feel it’s interfering with your life then it’s important to seek out professional help.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT – is commonly used to treat anxiety. CBT is based on psychological principles that suggest changing a way a person thinks will result in change for that person at an emotional and behavioural level. Therefore CBT therapist's help people change their negative thinking, which then helps people feel better and behave differently. For generalized anxiety you will learn to challenge and change your fearful thinking so you don't feel so afraid all the time. If you tend to always think the worst will happen you will learn to challenge these thoughts by asking yourself "what is the likelihood something like this will happen" and "what is a more likely or positive outcome?".
Medication for generalized anxiety disorder
Medication is used for generalized anxiety disorder but generally only for a short time. Therapy is considered the most effective way to treat GAD as it can help you identify the reasons for your anxiety rather than just reducing the symptoms.
Medications for generalized anxiety disorder include:
Buspirone (or brand name Buspar) is a anti anxiety drug and is commonly considered the safest to use with generalised anxiety disorder. It reduces anxiety but doesn’t eliminate it all together.
Benzodiazepines are generally only used for severe bouts of anxiety. They are quick acting usually within 30 minutes and provide rapid relief however there are some drawbacks such as physical and psychological dependence and therefore are not used commonly.
Antidepressants are used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, however they often take up to six weeks to have an effect and some antidepressants have side effects such as sleep and nausea issues.
Adapted from helpguide.org
Recovery from generalised anxiety disorder
It’s good to know that recovery from generalised anxiety disorder is possible with the right treatment. Therapy alone, or a combination of medication and therapy are widely considered the most effective treatment for GAD.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on anxiety:
The Helpful Guide