What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder can manifest itself both mentally and physically. Psychological complaints include persistent, unreal and exaggerated fears. The fears affect different areas of life. You are not a response to a threat, nor are you limited to specific things or situations. Because fear can relate to anything, experts speak of “generalized” fear.

For example, people with generalized anxiety disorder may feel anxious at one point that their partner might have an accident on their way to work. The next moment they fear that their child will be run over on the way to school; then that they might lose their key and finally that they will get one the next day. They worry about practically everything - big and small, and even completely irrelevant things. Many also fear fear itself or worry about worrying all the time. The constant fears significantly limit daily life or make it impossible.

In response to anxiety, the adrenal gland releases the hormone adrenaline. It accelerates many body functions - usually to increase alertness and willingness to react in the short term: the heart beats faster, the breaths become short and shallow. In people with generalized anxiety disorder, this physical alert can persist. Other possible symptoms include drowsiness, nervousness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, muscle tension, palpitations and stomach upsets. Constant anxiety is exhausting and can lead to difficulty concentrating and sleeping. Especially when someone is depressed at the same time, he or she can have thoughts of suicide.

If anxiety only occurs in certain situations, it is likely not a generalized anxiety disorder. Sudden anxiety or panic attacks are also not characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder, but they can sometimes be added.