Generalized Anxiety Disorder 101

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 101

Whether you’ve been concerned about generalized anxiety disorder for a while or you recently had a physician or other professional recommend you seek treatment for this common mood disorder, you probably have some questions. In this blog, the Lansing Counseling team walks through the basic details of generalized anxiety disorder, and you can always learn more by getting in touch with our team.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions, including panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common mood disorder that causes people to experience chronic fear, worry, or anxieties that interfere with their daily lives. Worries can arise from daily stressors like finances, work, school, and family. These anxieties are often founded in real world concerns, but the worries tend to escalate, leaving people with overwhelming worries that are only marginally connected to actual concerns.

Common Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

GAD impacts thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical health. Some of the common symptoms and warning signs associated with GAD include:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Changes in sleep (getting too much or too little sleep)
  • Hypervigilance or increased focus on and awareness of surroundings
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on details outside of their worries
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Pervasive worries and fears
  • Irritability or emotional instability
  • Headaches or body pains
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Sweating, trembling, and changes in heart rate

Risk Factors for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

While anyone can develop GAD, there are certain factors that significantly increase the risk that someone will develop this common concern, including:

  • Genetics – if you have one or more family members who struggle with an anxiety disorder, you’re much more likely to develop GAD and other forms of anxiety.
  • Gender – women are twice as likely as men to develop GAD.
  • Stress – whether you’re going through a stressful life transition, have a high stress career, or experience a traumatic event, you may be more likely to develop GAD.
  • Substance use – Addiction and substance use disorders are often tied with cooccurring mood disorders, including GAD.
  • Chronic illness & certain medical conditions – a diagnosis with chronic illness or other medical conditions can significantly increase risk of developing GAD.

Benefits of Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If you’re struggling with the impact of GAD on your daily life, it can feel overwhelming to think about overcoming this condition. The thought of taking the first step toward feeling better can seem like one thing too many. As therapists, we know how difficult it is taking that first step to address GAD with counseling, but we also know how beneficial therapy can be in overcoming the daily impact of GAD. When you work with our counselors to receive therapy for GAD, we will create a personalized treatment plan that may incorporate medication management, psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and learning new relaxation techniques and coping skills to address anxiety in the moment.

Get Started Working with Lansing Counseling

If you’re interested in learning more about general anxiety disorder and how therapy can help, contact the Lansing Counseling team today. You can get in touch using our online form, by calling (517) 333-1499, or by emailing [email protected]

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Lansing Counseling

Lansing Counseling

5030 Northwind Dr Suite 101
East Lansing, MI 48823

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