Generalized Anxiety: living in constant worry
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by the presence of constant worry and anxiety for no apparent reason. Unlike other types of anxiety, the causes are not easily identified.
In this article we’ll see what Generalized Anxiety is, and how to recognize it.
What is Generalized Anxiety?
Generalised anxiety presents a different pattern in the habits and daily routines of people ; it is present in the work, family, academic, health, social, etc., environments. It arises with the manifestation of an excessive concern that maximizes the importance of the problems and makes us see serious problems when analyzing any situation that other people would consider normal, giving more weight to the event than it really has.
It is possible that the symptoms are explained by the influence of some medication, by the consumption of specific drugs or drugs, such as medication for some physical illness. In this case, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not diagnosed. Generalized Anxiety is often present in other mood disorders.
Concern is the uneasiness that one has when faced with a certain circumstance . For example, that you are worried about the payments and expenses of the month, about getting a better job, about passing an exam at the university, etc.
However, concern becomes pathological when well-being and the ability to manage, and even prepare for, unforeseen events are affected. It is a discomfort that is accompanied by physical and emotional manifestations that are disproportionate to the magnitude of the problem being faced.
That is, you may be worried about things in your daily routine, but if you only make predictions that are catastrophic and the restlessness torments, the anxiety overflows and becomes pathological.
When anxiety is pathological, the responses are exaggerated and its effects have a greater intensity and duration, attention is focused on the fear of consequences and not on the threat itself . There is an unrealistic pressure where problems are maximized and the capacity to solve them is blocked, because anxiety affects the capacity to reason and the use of tools to face situations. Pathological anxiety is present in all anxiety disorders.
Some of the most frequent symptoms of Generalized Anxiety are:
- Constant worry.
- Muscle tension.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Sleep disorders.
- Social impairment in interpersonal relationships in all areas of a person’s development.
- Fear of losing control.
And the most common physical symptoms are:
- Tachycardia, choking sensation.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Difficulty in relaxing.
These symptoms make it difficult for the person to perform normal life activities. The symptoms present themselves in different ways for each individual , what remains for everyone is that Generalized Anxiety is a way of interacting with the world and interpreting it from an anxious view, which is not related to any particular fear as in phobias or panic disorders, but is present in all scenarios of our lives.
The causes of the appearance of Generalized Anxiety Disorder may be traumatic experiences, personality factors, genetic predisposition to stress or the environment where we develop. However, objective estimates of the causes will depend on each person.
In some cases personality characteristics such as dependency influence the appearance of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, since in dependency the approval of others is required for decision making and difficulties arise in assuming responsibility alone, which brings about anxiety.
Therefore, it is important to identify all the aspects involved in order to determine the origin of the diagnosis and whether it is only Generalised Anxiety, since in most cases it is associated with other disorders.
Anxiety is an adaptive behavior and is activated when we perceive danger or threat ; the reaction generates an effect in our body and mind that predisposes us to adapt to challenges.
It is natural for us to be in a state of alert when we experience a situation that is not optimal, even if it does not involve danger. For example, when you cross the street you are in a state of alert to the vehicles around you; but that should not produce other symptoms that exacerbate and maximize a routine situation.
It should be natural for us to be able to face new or unfamiliar situations where we make an analysis that contributes to better managing worry and nervousness to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
On the contrary, if you suffer from a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, you will be constantly feeling fearful during the performance of your normal daytime activities , you will worry excessively and you will present the physical symptoms mentioned above.
If you have frequent symptoms of anxiety and you feel that they prevent you from carrying out activities and harm your interactions in different areas of life, this means that you are presenting characteristics of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, for which you should consult a psychologist, who will be able to give you therapeutic tools in order to learn how to regulate your anxiety.