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Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder

As its name implies, Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects each and every aspect of a person’s life. Its harmful reach extends into a person’s career, marriage, familial and parental relationships and even into the deepest recess of their emotional well-being. Some people may believe that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is simply an overzealous categorization for people who are more emotionally sensitive than the majority of society. In part, this is true, but the implication that this disorder is not a medical condition is not only false, it is also dangerous.

Approximately 4% of the population of the United States suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. That figure may not seem like a large percentage but in reality that number translates to millions of people. The fact that so many people experience the debilitating effects of this condition on a daily basis makes the urgency of treatment even greater. When anyone categorizes Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a mere defect of character or temporary state of mind, they are detracting from any serious efforts to treat this condition. In fact, that is where the real danger of this condition lies, inside the misconceptions and misunderstandings of what this disorder actually constitutes.

Characteristics

The effects of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can best be described as subtle. That is not to say that the symptoms of this disorder are not severe or debilitating; rather, it is merely a description of the gradual, cumulative nature of the symptoms of GAD. GAD does serious damage to a person’s self-esteem and mental well-being by preventing that person from ever experiencing a moment of peace and tranquility. Many people do not realize the extreme importance of relaxation and rest in regards to the health of the human body. Our bodies are not designed to cope with extended periods of stress, anxiety and fear without interruption.

A person diagnosed with GAD lives the waking nightmare of uninterrupted anxiety. They experience fear at the thought of going shopping at the grocery store or mall and they worry endlessly over a bill that has gone past due. When they think of spending a night on the town with a group of close friends, they break out into a cold sweat and can think only of the endless ways in which such a night could end in embarrassment and shame. GAD changes the fundamnental orientation of a person’s reasoning capabilities. Rationality and reasonable expectations are compromised entirely when emotional responses based on fear and anxiety begin to take hold.

Truly, a person living with the effects of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is in need of serious and immediate help. After all, when a person feels that they cannot rest, their overall health will continue to degrade over time. Fortunately, modern medical science and therapeutic intervention offers hope for anyone afflicted by this disorder.

Sources

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