Do you feel troubled by excessive worries? Unable to relax? Difficulty sleeping?
Do you or your family member have an anxiety disorder?
In an anxiety disorder, there is an excessive amount of anxiety which is troublesome to the sufferer. There are various types of anxiety disorders, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one type. If you have GAD, you may have a persistent worry and anxiety about many things, usually pertaining to finances, family, work, studies and other aspects of daily life. There is little or no specific stressor that can obviously provoke it. You may find it difficult to control the anxiety and there may be also other symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, difficulty concentrating and sleep difficulties. These symptoms can last for many years and affect your work, relationship with family and general quality of life.
"Normal" worry vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
· Your worrying doesn’t impair your daily activities and responsibilities.You’re able to control your worrying.
· You are not significantly distressed by the worries.
· Your worries are limited to a specific, small number of realistic concerns.
· Your worries only last for a short period of time.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) :
· Your worrying significantly impairs your job, activities, or social life. You can't control your worries.
· Your worries cause significant distress.· You worry about all sorts of things, even though you know that there is no real need for such worries.
· You’ve been worrying almost daily for at least a few months.
Do you need assessment and treatment? What happens in a psychiatric consultation?
If you have the above symptoms and they are causing distress and affecting your life, it is time to consult a doctor. A psychiatrist will ask you about your symptoms, background history and medical history. Further investigations may be done if needed. After the diagnosis is made, the psychiatrist decides on the individualized treatment for you. All information shared during the consultations is strictly confidential.
How is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) treated?
This can be in the form of medications and/or psychological therapy. Medications are effective and help to reduce anxiety. Medications that act on the serotonin receptors in the brain will reduce the level of anxiety and these do not result in addiction. Other short-term medicines such as sedatives and sleeping pills may also be given if requested to improve sleep and allow you to relax. For non-medicinal approaches, cognitive behaviorial therapy (CBT) techniques and relaxation therapy are useful in the treatment of GAD.
Remember: GAD can be treated and you can feel better. Do not postpone treatment and suffer needlessly.