Worry is normal, as it helps us come up with reasonable solutions to the problems that we face each day. However, for many, this worry can turn into something more serious with both mental and physical symptoms. When worry goes too far and begins to control certain aspects of a person’s life it is then called anxiety. There are many different types of anxiety diagnoses, but one of the most common is known as generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. This can also be referred to as chronic anxiety.
The difference between worry and anxiety that is good for problem solving and anxiety that needs treatment is how it affects your day. When your worries get in the way of what you have to do and interferes in your personal and professional relationships, you have a condition that needs treatment. Only then can you go back to living life as you wish it to be. Generalized anxiety disorder does not have to be debilitating, but it often is if it is left untreated.
Generalized anxiety disorder has many symptoms. Some of these are mental and emotional, and others are physical. Together these can make life very uncomfortable and can lead to depression. Some of the more common symptoms are excessive worry, headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, panic attacks, trouble with sleep, muscle pains, irritability, trouble with concentration, feeling restless, and being unable to think about anything else if worried about something, even a small thing.
Though generalized anxiety disorder is something that can happen to just about anyone, there are some people who are more prone to developing this condition. Those that have had traumatic and unhappy childhoods can easily have high levels of anxiety. Those with high amounts of stress in their lives (either personally or professionally) that do not let up can be at risk, as can those with certain personality disorders. Some believe that going through a serious illness (or has someone close to them do so) can develop anxiety disorders, and it may even be that some are genetically prone to it. If someone in your immediate family has anxiety issues, you may as well.
Therapy, medications, and other lifestyle changes can help someone overcome general anxiety disorder. If you have excessive worries that stop you from living life as you wish, you may want to consider that your worries are more than just normal stresses. Some worry about things that others may not think twice about, or only stress about on rare occasion. If you find you are not doing things you normally would do, or have developed fears you never had, you may want to see someone about your anxiety.