Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves uncontrollable worrying, nervousness and tension. People with GAD worry about everyday life events with no apparent reason for concern. The worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion. It interferes with the daily functioning of a person’s life and may also affect their relationships.
Here are some cognitive signs of generalized anxiety disorder:
- Difficult to concentrate or focus on the task.
- Unable to control or stop worrying.
- Unrealistic view of problems.
- Mind going blank.
- Unable to tolerate uncertainty.
- Difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep longer.
- Avoiding situations / putting things off that make you overwhelmed or anxious.
Individuals who have a family history of anxiety/mood disorders are more likely to develop GAD.
Particularly stressful life incidents such as an accident or the sudden death of a close family member or friend. Individuals who have gone through a traumatic life experience such as physical, and emotional abuse may also develop GAD.
Some changes in the brain functioning due to the chemical called neurotransmitters, that transmit information from one cell to another have also been linked to GAD.
Excessive use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco smoking has been established as a risk factor for developing anxiety disorders. GAD can often be well managed by various therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).