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Health & Wellness

5 things to know about GAD, generalized anxiety disorder

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Who hasn’t faced a moment of anxiety in their life? The body automatically goes on alert when confronted with danger or a stressful situation. It’s normal. However, if a person is constantly anxious, he or she may suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Le trouble d’anxiété généralisée

1. Worry and anxiety are natural occurrences; GAD is not.

A new job, the birth of a child, a sporting event or a car accident are all examples of stressful situations. GAD, on the other hand, is disproportionate anxiety that results in excessive and constant worry over everyday things. Theses thoughts are hard to control and last for a period of 6 months.

2. The everyday can be a source of anxiety.

Work, kids, family and finances are often at the root of GAD. The problem may be small but may lead to more serious familial or social problems, as well as panic attacks and depression.

3. Anxiety is not caused by one single thing.

GAD is caused by a disturbance in neurotransmitters, chemical compounds that transport signals from nerve cells to brain. Hereditary predisposition, deficient defense mechanisms and external stress are also factors, which, when combined, can trigger GAD. Anxiety may also be of pathological origin, stemming from another type of mental disorder.

4. There are physical symptoms as well.

Although anxiety is a physiological state and may show up as negative emotions like depression, it also carries physical symptoms like concentration problems, irritability, sleep disturbances, impatience, restlessness, muscle tension, trembling, dry mouth, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness and nausea. Symptoms of GAD usually show in early adulthood. They can build progressively or be triggered by stressful events or periods of crisis.

5. GAD can be diagnosed and treated.

If you’ve been living with one of these symptoms for more than a few months and think you may suffer from GAD, go see you doctor or pharmacist affiliated to Brunet. The earlier you get help, the more effective your treatment will be.

Did you know that 5 to 10% of the adult population suffers from GAD and that women are 2x more at risk?

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