Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Learn about the DSM V criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder by watching the video below. 

Worry, Worry, Worry !!

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms consist of a pervasive and overwhelming sense of anxiety about everything!

People who have GAD must suffer from hard to control worries that last for at least 6 months. They worry about anything and everything all the time. GAD is often genetic. 

What is worry exactly? And how is it different from anxiety? Worry is the thinking component of anxiety. Anxiety is made of of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and behaviors. Worry is comprised of the specific thoughts that go along with anxiety. 

Some examples of thoughts that might compose GAD are :

  • I can't do this.
  • Something terrible is going to happen.
  • Everyone will laugh at me.
  • I will fail.
  • The plane will crash.
  • What if I can't pay my bills?

Click here for more information about causes of generalized anxiety disorder.

It is also essential to know that almost everyone who has generalized anxiety disorder ( GAD) has a secondary diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, or medical condition.

If you have GAD, you may have other undiagnosed problems that you need help with click here for more GAD facts.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms consist of behavioral, physical, and mental (mind) manifestations.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms that are Physical

Physical dysregulation or arousal is a core symptom of generalized anxiety. Many of us are disconnected from our bodies that we are unaware that we are having these symptoms until they cause us medical problems. This is why so often there is a correlation between stress and illness.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder symptoms include feeling physically tired and exhausted, feeling restless and agitated or keyed up. People who have generalized anxiety sometimes feel exhausted by their worrying but can’t stop. Sufferers will also often have a tremendous amount of muscle tension. Tension and agitation keep anxious people from resting and relaxing and may cause or exacerbate sleep problems. This is a vicious cycle between the mind and body. This constant physical discomfort paired with sleeplessness can, in turn cause irritability and mood fluctuation.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms that Involve Behavior and Thoughts

People who have generalized anxiety will often have difficulty concentrating. Of course, they do, because they are too busy worrying to actually pay attention to the moment! This, in turn, deprives people who suffer from anxiety from enjoying their present life, because of unceasing worry about the future. This constant focus on the future is another trait common to those who suffer from this condition. Think about it. If you are always thinking and worrying about the future, your mind can never be calm, focused, and present!

"Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

Behavioral Avoidance

People with general anxiety will avoid things that cause them worry. 

They also often worry rather than effectively solve their problems. It’s a challenge to let go of worry. We are often taught that worry is what helps us to prevent laziness, tragedy. We may believe it shows we care or promotes success and achievement. But guess what? It’s just the opposite. Worry prevents us from giving our all! It disables us. It impairs us. People who have chronic anxiety are less effective at performing their roles and duties.

People with generalized anxiety disorder also view the world as and situations with more distrust and fear and often have a more pessimistic outlook on life. Treatment for generalized anxiety focuses on all of these issues! 

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