Treatment For General Anxiety Disorder

General anxiety disorder is a condition where a person suffers chronic levels of anxiety over an extended period of at least 6 months. Millions of people around the world suffer from GAD with serious effects on their lives, so you aren’t alone if you’re a victim too. The good news is that your general anxiety disorder is treatable. Here, you’ll discover your treatment options.

First, though, you need to be aware of the following: you need to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor. If you’ve been suffering with the symptoms of anxiety for a short time, they could be the signs of some other condition. If you’ve been suffering alone for 6 months or more then it’s likely that you have general anxiety disorder. In either case you MUST seek professional advice.

WHAT IS GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER?

GAD sufferers have unrelenting worry and anxiety. Everybody worries about things everyday, but GAD victims take it to another level completely. Everyday things, issues and events, that most folks handle without obsessively worrying about them, become major issues for someone with general anxiety disorder. They constantly worry about things, the seriousness of which is way out of proportion to their reaction to them.

This constant state of anxiety becomes so severe that it can seriously affect some sufferers’ ability to function on a daily basis. Social gatherings and the workplace, for example, become very difficult for them to cope with. Others (the majority) seem to be able to cope in the main, but, they still suffer severe anxiety whilst doing it, so that it can affect their work and relationships.

SYMPTOMS OF GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER

Not every sufferer exhibits the same symptoms, but typical of the range of general anxiety disorder symptoms are; poor concentration, irritability, sleeping difficulties, inability to shake off anxious thoughts, fear of rejection, fear of losing control / composure, inability to relax, etc.

There are also physical symptoms of GAD which include stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, tense / aching muscles, almost constant fatigue, having the jitters, restlessness, etc.

TREATMENT FOR GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER USING DRUGS

Your doctor will most probably prescribe anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants to control the psychological symptoms and perhaps beta blockers to control the physical symptoms.

Antidepressants are used to influence neurotransmitters in the brain which play a role in GAD. Examples of the drugs are Prozac, Zoloft, Tofranil and Lexapro.
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Anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazapines are generally only used for short term symptom relief since they have some severe side effects like poor muscle coordination, drowsiness, memory problems and balance / steadiness problems. They can also be habit-forming. Typical are Valium, Ativan, Librium and Xanax.

Buspirone (BuSpar) doesn’t have the serious side effects of benzodiazapines such as tolerance and dependency. It’s therefore used in chronic anxiety sufferers and those who already have had the course of benzodiazapines but have relapsed.

Because drugs are more of a short-term treatment to relieve the symptoms of GAD and because of their side effects, more people are seeking natural ways to treat their general anxiety disorder. Another reason is that drugs can help manage your ‘mood’, but they can’t ‘cure’ the underlying problem that helps perpetuate your anxiety and that is your ‘fear’.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER

One of the most effective, if not the most effective, is cognitive-behavioral therapy (GBT) where you work together with a trained therapist to change your thought (cognitive) and behavior patterns in order to break the link between your feelings and the symptoms of GAD.

There are also several other non-drug therapies such as self-hypnosis, counselling, meditation and even acupuncture has been used to good effect.

Biofeedback uses electronic equipment to measure and display back to you, your physiological activity. By doing whatever it takes to improve your displayed physiological activity, you are learning how to relax and lower tension and stress. You expand your awareness and increase control of your body.

 

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