The primary symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is worrying excessively. Of course, we all worry, at least to some extent, about something or someone in our lives. However, the excessive worry experienced by individuals with GAD is really the extreme of what is normal for the circumstance or outcome of the event that the individual fears. So, this excessive worry is always present. If you or anyone you know suffers from GAD call Aspire Wellness Clinic at our Temecula, CA offices. We understand what you are going through and we are here to help.
Some common themes of worry may well include physical health, finances, living situation, job responsibilities, safety of one’s children, or even being late for appointments. Much of the time, this excessive worry is extremely hard to get a handle on, and frequently interferes with the individual’s ability to function. For example, students may find it difficult to get their schoolwork done and parents often describe difficulty letting their child get on the school bus. These feelings of worry and dread are accompanied by physical symptoms such as pain from muscle tension, headache, frequent urination, difficulty swallowing, “lump in the throat” or exaggerated startle response.
For some people this chronic anxiety and worry have become the standard approach taken to all situations and health experts recognize this condition as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. While the exact cause for GAD is uncertain, experts feel that it’s a combination of biological factors and life events. It’s not uncommon for some people with GAD to also have other medical disorders such as depression and/or panic disorder. These may be influenced by the activity of certain chemicals systems in the brain.
What are the symptoms and signs of anxiety?
The typical signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder may include:
- restlessness, feeling edgy, or easily annoyed
- becoming tired easily,
- difficulty concentrating,or collecting your thoughts
- feeling as if your mind is going “blank,”
- irritability, agitation
- muscle tension, stiffness
- restless sleep (ex. difficulty falling or staying asleep)
Anxiety that is associated with specific (specific or simple phobia) or social fears (social phobia) may also result in avoidance of certain situations or an elevation to the level of panic symptoms. In addition to the more general symptoms of anxiety previously described, worry that is associated with a traumatic event (posttraumatic stress disorder) may also result in the following symptoms:
- Avoidance of people, places, or situations that are reminiscent of the traumatic event
- Re-experiencing the trauma in repeated nightmares or flashbacks
- Difficulty trusting others
- Excessive attention to staying safe or keeping loved ones safe (for example, hypervigilance)
- A tendency to startle easily
- A sense of a bleak or foreshortened future
When anxiety intensifies to the level of becoming a panic attack, signs and symptoms can include:
- chest pain, tightness, feeling like you are experiencing a heart attack
- trouble catching your breath or difficulty breathing
- sweating of the palms of your hands
- nausea, upset stomach, and/or feeling like you have “butterflies” in your stomach
- spontaneous trembling or shaking
- feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
- derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (feeling detached from oneself)
- fear of losing control or going insane
- numbness or tingling sensations
- chills or hot flashes
- choking sensations
- feeling as though something terrible will happen to you
- feeling like you are dying
Clinical research has produced effective treatments and frequently combine medication or specific types of psychotherapy. A number of medications are FDA approved and available to effectively treat anxiety disorders. Some of the more common classes of medications include antidepressants or benzodiazepines. Of course, if one medication is not effective, there are other medications that can be prescribed.
One of the most effective forms of psychotherapy utilized to treat anxiety disorders is Cognitive-behavioral therapy, (CBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients to identify and understand their patterns of thinking. Naturally, this helps them to react differently to the situation(s) that provoke anxiety.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to meet or talk with one of our clinicians at Aspire Wellness in Temecula, CA about anxiety treatment call us at (951) 363-3150, or click below to fill out our secure online form. In addition, sometimes the therapist and client will mutually agree that a consultation with our in-house psychiatrist, Dr. Baroya, would be beneficial for medication management.