What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to let us know when we are in potential danger or that something is wrong. Anxiety and worry to certain degree is normal and in fact adaptive. However, when anxiety begins to become uncontrollable or it interferes with our ability to function normally it has become a problem and it is possible you may have an anxiety disorder.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by a person being generally anxious and worried about a wide variety of things, rather than just one thing in particular; like social situations in social anxiety disorder. According to Beyond Blue, approximately 6% of the population will suffer from GAD at some stage in their life (Beyond Blue, 2014). GAD can affect both adults and children.
Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Common symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder include:
- Worrying or being anxious a lot of the time;
- Feeling constantly restless or on edge;
- Being easily fatigued;
- Having difficulty concentrating;
- Feeling irritable often;
- Experiencing frequent muscle tension;
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep, or having unsatisfying sleep.
Treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder
The most common treatment for GAD is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The cognitive component of this therapy involves challenging anxious and unhelpful thoughts by weighing up the evidence for the thought and in time replacing the unhelpful thoughts with more realistic thoughts. The behavioural component of therapy involves techniques such as self-monitoring to learn to catch unhelpful thoughts and relaxation techniques to help calm yourself down when feeling anxious.
Information about cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be found in Counselling.