Sunday, 30 October 2011

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness and tension. The anxiety is excessive intrusive, persistent and debilitating. Common worries are taken to a new level.
Symptoms of GAD fluctuate. You experience a combination of emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms.
Emotional Symptoms include constant mental worries; uncontrollable anxiety, intrusive thoughts that persistently make you anxious; inability to tolerate uncertainty; and a pervasive feeling of anxiety and dread.
Behavioral Symptoms include inability to relax quietly; difficulties in concentrating and focusing; putting things off because of feeling overwhelmed; and avoiding situations that make you anxious.
Physical Symptoms include feeling tense with muscle tightness or body aches; insomnia as the mind won’t quit thinking or worrying; feelings of edginess and restlessness; stomach problems like nausea and diarrhea.
Symptoms in Children include ‘what if’ fears about situations far in the future; perfectionism, excessive self-criticism and fear of making mistakes; feelings of guilt for any disaster and that worry will keep the tragedy from occurring; conviction that misfortune is contagious and will happened to them; and needs for frequent reassurance and approval.
When and if you have these symptoms it is necessary to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment from a psychiatrist. He will prescribe self-help strategies, additional therapies and medication.
You will learn of productive and unproductive worrying. How to deal with anxiety in productive ways. How to challenge irrational worrisome thoughts. Also to postpone worrying and how to accept uncertainty in life.
As anxiety is the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction to a prescribed threat, if you have develop GAD you will tend to have uncontrollable physical symptoms. You will be thought to relax your muscles and breathe slower and deeper. Relaxation techniques including meditation are also powerful anxiety relieving tactics.
Self soothing techniques to clam you down will be incorporated through your five physical senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. For example viewing some treasured photographs and books, going to a museum helps. Listening to music or to sounds of nature like birds singing, ocean waves or wind rustling through tress helps too. Smelling flowers or your favorite perfume is another GAD relieving technique. Enjoying a good meal or a drink will calm you. Taking a warm bath; getting a massage; petting your dog or cat also makes a drastic difference to your anxiety levels.
You will be assisted in getting connected to others; identity unhealthy relationship patterns; build a strong support system through a network of friends; to talk your problem out with close, trusted family members or friends when the worries start spiraling; and to learn whom to avoid when feeling anxious.
Advise regarding lifestyle adjustments, eating habits, exercise, avoidance of alcohol & nicotine; organizing & regularizing sleeping habits will be given.
Hence if you suspect your worrying is interfering with your ability to function and relax, you’ve recognized the symptoms of GAD, approach for professional help. Your psychiatrist will organize the therapy that will break you free from the grip of chronic worrying and enable you to live normally again.
- Dr. Rohan Jahagirdar
MD (Psychiatry)
Contact: 020 - 3240 5770