What is General Anxiety Disorder & How to manage it?

Everyone seems to have anxiety from time to time, and there may be valid causes for this. Even in those who have GAD, the concern is frequently irrational or excessive given the circumstances. Worry, anxiety, and dread become a part of every day existence. At some point, anxiety may even take over a person’s thoughts to the point that they struggle to do daily tasks at workplace or school, in social situations, and in their individual connections. However, there are ways to reduce worry so that it stops controlling your life. Usually anxiousness is merely the result of trying to endure the day. The worry loop is uncontrollable for people with GAD, despite the fact that they typically grasp that anxiety is more than the circumstance calls for. All psychological problems may have a difficulty with accepting unpredictability, which is why many GAD sufferers attempt to prepare or manage events. Many individuals think that worrying keeps terrible incidents from occurring, therefore they see quitting worrying as harmful. Individuals actually have bodily symptoms including migraine and digestive problems. However, some people struggle to restrain their fears. Their anxiousness is more pervasive and frequently interferes with their regular activities. 

Distress, phobias such agoraphobia or claustrophobia, post-traumatic chronic depression (PTSD), social interaction disorder, and others all have anxiety as a primary symptom

This section contains details on a condition known as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

Even though precise origin of GAD is not entirely known, it is probable that a number of different variables interact to contribute to the disorder.

According to research, they may include:

  • A mismatch of the neurotransmitters in the brain neither serotonin nor noradrenaline, which are important in controlling and regulating mood. 
  • An overactivity in parts of the brain connected to feelings and behaviour.
  • The chromosomes you receive from your biological parents are thought to increase your risk of developing GAD by five times if you have a genetic link who also has the disorder.
  •  A severe long-term health condition, such arthritis.
  •  A history of stressful or traumatic situations, including domestic violence, child abuse, or bullying.

Everybody experiences anxious symptoms occasionally. For instance, you could have anxiety and worry before an exam, a medical exam, or a job application.

Feeling worried in such circumstances might be very normal. Children and teenagers frequently are oblivious that their stress is more than what is necessary, unlike adults with GAD. With GAD, young people frequently require a lot of encouragement from the adults who surround them.

Every toddler’s problems could be a little different. However, the most typical signs of GAD are: 

  • That several begins to worry about events before they occur. 
  •  Many troubles about best friend, student, or events. 
  •  Almost constant thoughts and fears about the child’s or parents’ safety. 
  •  Refusing to attend school. 
  •  Repeated acid reflux disease, dizziness, or other somatic ailments. 
  •  Muscle aches or conflict. 
  •  Sleep issues. 
  •  Lots of concern about resting far away from home.

According to experts, both biological and ecological factors contribute to GAD. Anxiety tendencies can run in a family. Serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters in the brain, are most likely out of balance.

Relatives and other people can teach a youngster about worry and dread. For instance, a youngster who has a father who is scared of thunderstorms can develop that fear as well. GAD may also result from a traumatic incident. The passing of a spouse, a separation, or a catastrophic sickness or accident within the family might all fall under this category. Although the research is in in its early stages, technological and methodological advancements have made it possible for researchers to more thoroughly analyse the role that genes play in the development of GAD. We are aware, for instance, that passing certain genetic markers to a person might put them at risk for getting GAD. Many GAD sufferers are quickly startled. They frequently experience fatigue, struggle with concentration, and may experience sadness. GAD symptoms might include nauseousness, frequent visits to the restroom, or a block in the esophagus.

Those with GAD can interact professionally and hold down jobs when their anxiety is modest, but if their pain is severe, they may find it difficult to do even the most basic daily tasks. Even though most GAD sufferers are aware that the majority of their worry is unjustified, they nevertheless can’t seem to get rid of their worries. 


Generalized anxiety disorder cannot be prevented, although many of its manifestations can be managed with therapy. It might help to lessen the disturbances to your life to get assistance as soon as indications start to occur.

Your doctor or a psychological therapy centre could advise you to attempt a guided self-help programme to see if it can teach you how to manage your anxiety.

This entails using a CBT-based textbook or online course on your own schedule with a therapist’s assistance.

Or you could be given the option of enrolling in a group program where you and others who are experiencing the same issues meet once a week with a therapist to learn how to manage your anxiety.

You will often be provided either a more extensive psychological therapy or medicine if these initial therapies don’t work. 

The primary and golden benchmark for reducing anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

CBT for GAD is a comprehensive treatment, which means that it consists of many elements that address the condition’s numerous physical, cognitive, and behavioural symptoms.

In general, CBT seeks to assist you in lessening anxiety and unsettling thoughts, successfully managing stress, and calming your nervous system.

Together with your therapist, you will develop the most effective treatment strategy for you.


Numerous techniques are used in psychotherapy, including extended meditation and cognitive behaviour therapy.

  CBT may use breathing exercises, exposure therapy, applied relaxation techniques, cognitive retraining, or instruction. For GAD and PD, psychotherapy is just as helpful as medication.  Structured CBT therapies have been shown to be advantageous in the treatment of worry in the primary care context, despite the fact that there is not enough data to draw conclusions regarding many psychotherapeutic methods.   Depending on the patient’s preferences, counselling may be used either alone or conjunction with medication as the first line of treatment for GAD. To gauge its effectiveness, psychotherapy should be received once a week for at least 8 weeks.

Serotonergic drugs

Some people might not be able to handle the negative effects of some SSRIs, either when they initially start taking the medication or over time. Others might want quicker relief from anxiety-related symptoms like panic attacks.

If so, your doctor could advise you to take a limited benzodiazepine for a brief period of time. Within minutes or hours, benzodiazepines begin to operate significantly more quickly than the majority of drugs.

Despite the fact that these medications are quite effective, their prescription is given with greater caution owing to the significant risk of tolerance and dependence. They may also sedate you and impair your thinking.

It is now generally advised that most people refrain from using benzodiazepines for an extended period of time.

Theraputic acceptance and cooperation (ACT)

Willingness and dedication therapy is the 2nd treatment for GAD.

ACT teaches you to accept your ideas without attempting to change or diminish them.

ACT also enables you to take action in accordance with your principles and concentrate on the here and now rather than allowing anxiety to rule your judgments and daily days.


  • Stabilizers: Selected desipramine (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) antidepressants are frequently prescribed by medical professionals to treat depression, but they can also help alleviate the symptoms of GAD. It can take a few weeks for them to start functioning.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs: Sedative anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines can be used to treat severe types of GAD. They can significantly reduce anxiety quickly, but some people become resistant to them and require ever greater dosages to achieve the same results. As a result, if you require them, your doctor might only prescribe them for short periods of time.
  • Avoiding alcohol and marijuana: Using drugs and alcohol might exacerbate your anxiety symptoms and may interact with the anxiety meds you’re taking.
  •  Joining an identity or counselling service: Sharing your struggles and triumphs in a group with people who share your experiences might make you feel better about life. It’s crucial to keep in mind that any advise you obtain from a therapy group should be used with caution and shouldn’t take the place of treatment suggestions from your healthcare or mental health professional.
  • Make your society’s difficulties a priority. By exercising smart time and energy management, you may lessen worry. Avoid using drugs and alcohol. Utilizing nicotine or caffeine, along with alcohol and other drugs, can increase or aggravate anxiety. Eliminating one of these substances might make you uneasy if you are addicted to it. If you are unable to stop using tobacco on your own, join a support group or treatment programme, or see a physician.

Insomnia can also cause anxiety, rendering you more susceptible to stresses. Anxiety can occasionally make it difficult to fall asleep.

Concentrate on developing a nighttime routine that includes the same 3 or 4 tasks that you can complete simultaneously and in the same order every night. Consider quick tasks like sipping some herbal tea, listening to guided meditations, or reading a few pages of a book. Finding what relaxes you may necessitate a little trial and error because everyone is different.

Perhaps it’s staring toward the sky, being near water, creating something with your hands, visiting a park, watching comedy films, jumping throughout your apartment, or just imagining a safe place.

Enroll in our Accredited CBT Therapy for Anxiety Online Course

Download Free worksheet of this article

Leave a Reply