A generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition whereby a person ends up experiencing more than just normal everyday anxiety and tension, even though there might not be any apparent or evident reasons for its occurrence. Having this disorder basically means the anticipation of disaster in every aspect of life, be it health, money, family, friends, etc. The person may sometimes feel like he himself is not aware of the actual root of the problem (Books, 1997).
The sufferers of GAD may not be able to escape their concerns and worries despite the realization that it may be torturing them. It becomes almost impossible for the person to relax and calm his nerves down, they may even feel insomniac quite a lot. The mental worries soon start becoming evident in their physical actions and symptoms such as headaches, constant irritability, shivering, sweating, being out of breathe, etc.
What is a Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
A generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by a common attack which involves the feelings of chronic worrying, extreme nervousness and prevailing tension.
Unlike a phobia, whereby the person's fear is linked to one specific aspect or object, a general anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by an overall feeling of uneasiness, dread, fear that may influence your life as a whole. This disorder does not necessarily occur as an attack but may lead to general unease and disturbance in the normal life resulting in difficulty in relaxing and settling one's life.
In a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a person may end up worrying about certain things that may not even make any evident sense to him/her for instance, money and financial issues, family politics, health problems, etc. These do form a part of the things that an individual worries in everyday life but in this disorder; the person may take all these worries to a whole new level and on extremes (Erlbaum, 2007).
Some everyday examples of where this disorder occurs maybe when a person calls up a friend and upon not getting a return to the call, they may worry that the relationship may be in trouble; in some cases, the prospect of getting along smoothly through the day may be a reason to experience extreme anxiety. When assessing them logically and calmly, it often turns out that there was no reason to worry about those things anyway but this disorder produces extreme reactions. Someone's casual comment may end up worrying a person with GAD to levels that may be hard to predict randomly.
The people suffering from this disorder may tend to believe that their over worrying may protect them from something bad occurring. What they are unable to realize is that they are over thinking stuff to the extent which may not be required and end up being painful for the person. These extreme emotions are beyond the control of the person and keep recurring (Botts, 1998).
The generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by a condition which occurs not just for days but can vary up to 6 months with ranging activities and occurrence of events. The control of the extreme emotions runs out of control for the patient. The generalized anxiety disorder can be further divided into categories which involve sudden attacks where the person gets panicked, known as the Panic Attack. It may also include a fear of new people and general public which involves being scared of public humiliation known as Social phobia. A condition of being overly obsessive about cleanliness and security is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is a further subdivision. Another disorder is that of being away or cut off from the loved ones and family which is called as Separation Anxiety. Hence, these anxiety disorders may be further subdivided and categorized according to the condition it is associated with but a generalized disorder includes excessive worry and nervousness (Graske, 1999) .
The person suffering from the primary symptoms of anxiety will usually suffer from certain primary symptoms some weeks before, usually certain weeks and months before the condition can actually be diagnosed. These involve:
1) Constant worries about the future and how it might be disastrous, feeling that one may be on the edge of something, troubles in concentrating on something