Generalized Anxiety Disorder

According to Psychology Today, Anxiety is feelings of worry, nervousness, or dread. It is important to remember that feeling anxious is natural. Let’s think about how we feel the first day at a new job, the first day of school, or any special occasion that causes us to feel excited, but anxious at the same time. Whenever we feel anxious, we think we are out of control, so we must remind ourselves to take a deep breath and that everything will be OK. Anxiety can be a good thing as it can help us avoid danger with the fight/flight response which is to protect us when there is danger. It is an automatic thought to either run or not to run. It is an adaptive response to protect us physically because we are afraid before we are consciously afraid. Like I mentioned before some things that activate anxiety can be a special event, tests, emotional disturbances, arguments, public speaking, fear of being judged, which leads to rejection.

However, if anxiety is stopping you from doing your daily routine it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder. There are different types of anxieties, but I would like to focus on Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it is excessive anxiety and worry, occurring for at least 6 months. When an individual is struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder they find it difficult to control the worry. Often, the feeling of anxiousness comes out of nowhere. You may ask, well how can we differentiate Generalized Anxiety Disorder from just being a regular stressed out moment? Well, people who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder tend to negatively predict the outcomes of regular activities in a way that just adds more stress to daily life. So for example, they can be at a party worrying about the future instead of enjoying the party. There are a couple of questions that can provide relief, when having an episode of anxiety. First ask, “How truthful is this thought?” Then ask yourself, “What would I tell a friend with this worry?”

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Needing to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Excessive worry and tension

Managing Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Stay physically active
  • Sleep schedule
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Healthy eating habits

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with managing anxiety and live in the Chicagoland area, feel free to call Olive Branch Counseling Associates at (708) 633-8000 and talk to a professional.

Yadira

Graduate Intern

References

Anxiety Disorder Cartoons and Comics. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/a/anxiety_disorder.asp

Anxiety. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/anxiety

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