Generalized anxiety disorder (also known as GAD, or chronic anxiety neurosis) causes people to worry uncontrollably about everyday events and situations at a level that is out of proportion to their severity.
When faced with stressful situations, we are likely to feel anxious or worried. However, if you have extreme anxiety or worries that negatively impact your life, we recommend seeking treatment.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As outlined in the DSM-5, GAD is characterized by having trouble controlling worry on most days over a six-month period and displaying three or more of the following symptoms:
- Persistent anxiety or worry about many things that are out of proportion to the impact of the events
- Overanalyzing plans and potential outcomes for worst-case scenarios
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
- Difficulty coping with uncertainty
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Trembling, feeling twitchy
- Nervousness, or easy to startle
Most importantly, these symptoms negatively impact functioning in personal, social, or occupational settings. GAD symptoms can overlap with other mood and anxiety disorders, and in many cases, can occur along with other disorders. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we strongly recommend obtaining an official diagnosis from a psychiatrist who can provide specialized treatment based on your diagnosis.
Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder may occur in children or adults. Treatment can be a long-term process for many people because the topic of worries often changes over time. However, successful treatment helps reduce anxiety by enhancing mental and physical wellbeing. It also increases engagement with people, places, and situations that previously caused anxiety. Medication and psychotherapy are often used together to treat or improve the symptoms of this condition.
At Talkiatry, our psychiatrists focus on long-term success in GAD treatment. Therefore, anti-anxiety medications that provide temporary relief are only recommended as a short-term measure to alleviate symptoms when starting the treatment process. We instead utilize medications that have demonstrated long-term success in treating GAD symptoms, including SSRIs, SNRIs, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Psychotherapy is often emphasized in treating anxiety disorders such as GAD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is commonly used to treat GAD. It is usually a short-term, structured treatment that focuses on the interplay between the conscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that perpetuate anxiety. Psychotherapy helps patients recognize and control their anxious thoughts while changing their behavior and thinking. Broad topics discussed during therapy sessions include in-depth analysis of the anxious thoughts, learning coping skills, relaxation techniques, imagined exposure to worries, modification of behaviors that have resulted from the worries, and problem-solving.
Next Step with Talkiatry
Talkiatry offers outpatient mental health services for people living with GAD, including diagnoses, psychotherapy, and medication management.
Here at Talkiatry, we believe in providing accessible, affordable mental health-management solutions, which is why we provide personalized in-network healthcare services that are focused on helping you feel better, faster. We also offer flexible telemedicine and in-office appointment options to match our therapeutic and modern approach to psychiatric care.
If you believe you have GAD, we highly recommend you start by taking our free and easy assessment to receive a preliminary diagnosis. This assessment will also match you with one of our psychiatrists who can assist you with managing and treating your GAD.