Anxiety Mental Health

What are the causes of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and how is it being treated?

GAD is a treatable with a mixture of treatments such as medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.

What are the causes of GAD?

There is no one specific cause to GAD but it may be due to complex interactions between factors such as biological, environmental and developmental factors.

  • Family history of GAD
  • Excessive stress and adverse life events (e.g. death or loss of loved ones, divorce, etc.)
  • Excessive use of substances (e.g. caffeine, nicotine, etc.)
  • Childhood abuse

What are some of the common treatments used to treat GAD?

  1. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • It is the most common psychotherapy being used to treat a lot of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. The cognitive part of CBT helps patients to acknowledge and alter their thought patterns which validate their fears whereas the behavioral part can alter the way they respond to anxiety-provoking situations.
  1. Medication
  • People whose daily functioning is impaired due to GAD may be prescribed with medication to relieve their symptoms. Some of the short-term medications commonly prescribed to people with GAD belong to the benzodiazepines drug class. These medications are able to relieve the physical symptoms such as muscle pain and restlessness. However, it may threaten the individual’s life if he consumes the medications with alcohol.
  1. Relaxation techniques
  • Deep breathing techniques and biofeedback are some of the relaxation techniques which are able to relieve the physical symptoms of GAD such as muscle pain.

What are some of the lifestyle changes you can adopt to relieve the symptoms of GAD?

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Get sufficient amount of sleep
  • Talk to someone you trust when you think that you are overwhelmed with worry and fear
  • Refrain from consuming anything which contains stimulants such as coffee and over-the-counter medications

Generally, GAD is treated with a mixture of treatments such as medication, therapy and lifestyle changes. If you discover that you or anyone around you has the symptoms of GAD, try talking to your loved ones and seek advice from healthcare professionals. By adhering to advice given by mental health professionals, GAD is treatable and the individual is able to lead a normal lifestyle.


Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder#lifestyle

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/generalized-anxiety-disorder#3

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