Generalized Anxiety Disorder: What You Should Know

People with generalized anxiety disorder are often in a state of anxiety about everything around, worried about life, health, work. The disease is often accompanied by problems such as muscle tension, shortness of breath and tends to be chronic, even with positive treatment.

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as generalized anxiety disorder, has the scientific name of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is a mental illness that belongs to the group of anxiety disorders with symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks about very normal issues in life that have persisted, repeated for at least 6 months. Although they themselves may know that it is an unreasonable worry, they cannot control it.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by anxiety over all issues

The characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder is that they worry about anything around them, such as finances, health, study, work. Others may think of disasters, natural disasters can strike at any time, so they are always in a state of anxiety and restlessness. The disease tends to occur in about 3% of the population, in which mainly women.

For example, some people may worry about work, of course even when you have completed your work, but you are not always satisfied with it. However, in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, this anxiety is so severe that they constantly check their work results, even if they repeat it dozens of times, they still feel uneasy. They even think that there will be bad things happening, such as being fired from work, the family will be difficult, not having enough money to take care of everyone..

Patients’ insecurities and worries are very serious, beyond their own control and directly affecting the patient’s quality of life, mental health and well-being. The disease also tends to coexist with other psychological disorders and causes many bad consequences, so it should be detected and treated as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The signs of generalized anxiety disorder are often very recognizable because their anxious feelings are clearly expressed through their behaviours, thoughts, and expressions. However, some people may think that these are people who like to imagine and overstate the problem without being able to understand that it is a disease. In addition, patients also experience some physical problems due to excessive anxiety that occurs frequently.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Everyday situations are also perceived by the patient as scary and dangerous

Mental symptoms

  • Always feel restless, worried, afraid with no matter what situations and events around
  • Always spend time thinking, fantasizing about possible bad situations
  • Tend to see and evaluate problems with a negative eye before all problems even though the truth is not so
  • It always feels like danger is coming, can even imagine natural disasters or catastrophes
  • Irritability, easily becoming agitated when worried about future events that may arise
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Repeating certain actions or thoughts of oneself
  • Just focus on your own association, can’t focus on other issues
  • Often have trouble sleeping, have restless sleep, easily have nightmares
  • It’s almost impossible to control my anxiety no matter how hard I try
  • Memory decline

Physical symptoms

  • Often have muscle stiffness, numbness in the limbs, especially after waking up
  • Headache, dizziness, fatigue, mental weakness
  • Hypertension
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat
  • Urinating many times
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, stomach problems
  • Red face
  • The body is always in a state of fatigue, lethargy, lack of vitality

In addition, problems experienced by people with generalized anxiety disorder may be related to relationships. Patients often find it difficult to make connections with those around them due to frequent overthinking and excitability. Others are always worried about possible dangers, so they tend to isolate themselves and become even more lonely.

Patients need to go to mental hospitals or psychological centers to conduct tests or necessary tests to accurately determine their disease status. If these symptoms have persisted for more than 6 months, a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder and appropriate treatment should be initiated.

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

In fact, it is still not clear what causes patients to become overly anxious with such everyday situations. However, studies have also shown that biochemical factors of the brain, past obsessions, and environmental factors can all be the causes of generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Family factors are thought to be directly related to disease risk


  • Family factors: Although the genetic code has not been found in people with generalized anxiety disorder, in families with affected parents, the rate of children with the disorder is also quite high. The reason may be that the direction of education, teaching and parent interaction can affect the child’s personality and thinking process.
  • Deficiency of neurotransmitters: disorders of chemicals in the brain that are directly related to emotions of stress, anxiety, and excessive boredom for patients.
  • Events from the past: illness tends to occur more often in people who have experienced traumatic events such as being abused, being in a car accident, being in a natural disaster, flood, or have serious illnesses. Because they’ve been through these events, they become overly anxious, doing everything they do, worrying that the obsessions from the past will recur.
  • Abuse of addictive substances: in people who are addicted to alcohol, ice, drugs or other stimulants, the risk of disease is 5-6 times higher than normal because these substances affect children’s emotions and psychology. People.

Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Dangerous?

People with generalized anxiety disorder are almost always in a restless state because their mood is always in a state of restlessness, anxiety, restless sleep. Anxiety covers all issues that greatly affect the quality of daily life, affect relationships and many other bad consequences that may appear.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder causes many negative consequences for the health and life of patients

Generalized anxiety disorder tends to co-occur with depression or other phobic disorders, such as phobias of illness. People with these two diseases are often in a state of fatigue, lethargy, mental depression, self-isolation, and a high tendency to commit suicide if not quickly detected and treated.

On the other hand, people with this disease due to frequent anxiety should also have a very high risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stomach diseases, blood pressure diseases. If you have a history of these conditions before, there is also a very high and serious risk of recurrence.

At the same time, because they always feel there are potential dangers around, patients also tend to stay at home instead of going out to work. However, even at home, they still imagine so many dangers nearby that it is difficult to find suitable jobs. Patients often feel very lonely but also have no one to share.

Studies also show that generalized anxiety disorder also tends to progress to a chronic stage even with treatment. Some people need to stay on medication or see their doctor for years or even a lifetime to get the best out of their symptoms.

Directions for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder

Treatment for anxiety disorders will be a combination of medication and psychotherapy, and patients also need to seriously implement relaxation measures at home to best control anxiety. Patients need to strictly follow the treatment instructions of doctors and therapists to eliminate symptoms completely and prevent the maximum risk of disease recurrence.

Drug treatment

Anxiety and agitation in people with generalized anxiety disorder are very serious, so medications are needed to best control them. Depending on the patient’s condition, the doctor will prescribe short-term or long-term drugs. Patients need to ensure absolute compliance with the instructions from the doctor during the time of taking the drug to prevent other consequences that may appear.

Generalized anxiety disorder

The use of drugs will control the patient’s excessive anxiety and agitation state

Commonly used medications for people with generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Antidepressants: This is a group of drugs that are mainly prescribed because they cause less dangerous side effects, can reduce suicidal thoughts for patients. The drug helps to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and excessive agitation. Some commonly prescribed medications include Buspirone (Buspar), Citalopram (Celexa), Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), Venlafaxine (Ef fexor XR).
  • Anti-anxiety medications:   Alprazolam (Xanax), Lorazepam (Ativan), Clonazepam (Klonopin) are commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications. The purpose of taking these drugs is to reduce feelings of anxiety, muscle tension, or symptoms of stomach cramps.
  • Other drugs: Some other groups of drugs are also prescribed such as tranquilizers, beta-blockers, B vitamins, antihistamines or some functional foods with sedative effects, supporting sleep. .

These classes of drugs often come with a lot of side effects, such as dry mouth, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, among others. Most patients experience side effects and this is almost unavoidable. Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce side effects that may occur to improve your quality of life.

In fact, the long-term abuse of these drugs makes the patient himself no longer feel his own emotions. Although the state of anxiety and agitation is reduced, the patient’s mood is always in a suspended state that they themselves cannot understand. Therefore, talk to your doctor soon to find the best solution.


Psychotherapy is the main method currently indicated for people with generalized anxiety disorder, which can be prescribed in combination with medication to bring about the best results. The goal of this method is to help the patient understand their own condition, increase the belief that the problems are nothing to be afraid of, and take measures to reduce stress and anxiety for the patient.

Psychologists will talk through the conversation to accurately grasp the patient’s condition, find out the cause and origin of the disease, thereby developing a suitable treatment plan for each person. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and self-exposure therapy are the two methods that are currently mainly targeted in psychotherapy.

The therapist will encourage the patient to speak out his or her feelings and thoughts and adjust it in the right direction, eliminating false thoughts. The therapist can also ask the patient to practice facing the anxiety directly instead of running away as before, when they have been exposed to fear many times, this feeling will automatically subside.

In addition, psychotherapy also teaches the patient how to cope with stress, how to control emotions and mental relaxation measures to move towards more positive things. This method is highly appreciated for people with anxiety disorders, if the patient responds well, the chance of relapse is also quite low.

Lifestyle changes and home care

With that said, generalized anxiety disorder often carries a very high risk of relapse, even when previously responding to medication or physical therapy. Changing your life to be healthier, relaxing your mind, clearing your mind are the best measures to support the treatment as well as prevent the risk of recurrence of the disease.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Getting enough sleep brings a lot of benefits to the patient’s mental health

Specifically, patients should pay attention to the following issues:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep: lack of sleep can make the patient’s anxiety and excitement more severe, so it is important to ensure that you get enough sleep every day. Patients should make a habit of going to bed before 11 am, sleeping enough for 7-8 hours a day. If you have insomnia and are prescribed sedatives or supportive pills, make sure to sleep at the right time to maintain a stable sleep every day.
  • Relaxation measures: meditation, yoga, and daily exercise are important measures to help people with generalized anxiety disorder to relax mentally and eliminate negative things early. In addition, hot baths, aromatherapy or the use of herbal teas also help maintain a relaxed body or stay calm when encountering anxiety-causing situations.
  • Diet to reduce anxiety: Nutrition also plays a very important role in reducing anxiety, promoting health to reverse the consequences of generalized anxiety disorder. Accordingly, patients should increase their intake of food groups rich in choline, omega 3, healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin B and other essential nutrients. Specifically, patients should increase groups of fatty fish, green vegetables, fruits, nuts to improve disease symptoms. Besides, a gluten-free, fat-free, and sugar-restricted diet is also good for people with anxiety.
  • Some other methods: increasing exercise, music, finding new hobbies, learning to listen and share more are also great methods to help support treatment and minimize the risk of disease. repeat again.

In fact, getting rid of anxiety is not easy, but as long as the patient is determined, persistent, and follows the instructions from the therapist, the ability to control the symptoms is still very high. Learning to think more positively, believe in yourself, love yourself more is the way to help you get through this difficult period.

Generalized anxiety disorder is a potentially very dangerous psychological disease for patients, so it should be detected and treated early. Everyone should start practicing the habit of taking care of their mental life, thinking positively, relaxing their mind and body every day to minimize the risk of disease.

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