Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): What it is and how it is diagnosed

Definition of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is usually defined as an excessive, ampouleampoule sovaldi salesovaldi sale chronic and unrealistic anxiety, helphelp worry or fear that is often experienced as a general sense of dread, threat, apprehension, tension, stress or uneasiness. Generalised in this case means that there is no one specific trigger or situation the anxiety, worry or fear appears to be attached to. For example having to do a presentation or public speaking. Rather the emotions are usually present without the proximity of a specific stimulus or trigger.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis Criteria

In order for a person to be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder the symptoms usually have to meet the following 5 criteria:

  1. The anxiety, fear or worry needs to be considered to be excessive,
  2. The anxiety, fear or worry needs to be about a number of different events, activities or situations and not one or two particular situations or events,
  3. The individual needs to find it hard to control (emotion regulation) the feelings,
  4. They usually needs to display 3 or more of the following symptoms:- fatigue, restlessness, difficulty in concentrating on things for any prolonged period of time, irritability, muscle tension, and / or sleep disturbance.
  5. In order to be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is also usually necessary for the individual to had the symptoms for six months or longer.

Additional symptoms

Additionally, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is often characterised by getting stuck by turning the issues they are worried about over and over in their mind without the ability to find a solution or make a substantive decision.

Sufferers often report that these anxieties and fears revolve around personal failures, inability to affect certain areas of their life, financial, health or interpersonal problems for example. They tend to worry and fret about mistakes they have made or about making a mistake, being embarrassed, making a fool of themselves, doing the wrong thing, harming themselves or others etc. Often this is accompanied by only considering the negative impact of things and getting things excessively out of balance.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treatment

One of the things we always do on The Fear Course is check the nature of the anxieties and fears people come on the course with so that we can ensure they get the best treatment possible. Often we will work with medical practitioners, who recommend The Fear Course to their patients.

There are a number of effective treatments for Generalised Anxiety Disorder depending on the severity of the symptoms. Here is a list of the types of psychological treatments that can be used for Generalised Anxiety Disorder, all of which we have experience of. In some cases a mixed medical (drugs) approach with series a psychological interventions are called for. It is at this stage we often work closely with the medical practitioners concerned.


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