In the mental health community, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is often referred to as the common cold of any anxiety disorder because it affects more people around the world than any other anxiety disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder involves a long lasting almost constant state of tension and worry.
Real-life worries does not mean you have GAD. For instance if you just lost your job and you worry about money. That is realistic and a real-life problem. But if you constantly worry about money and you are a billionaire, you might have GAD.
If your anxiety has shown up almost every day for the last six months, you may have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Maybe you try to stop yourself from worrying but you can’t. There are also these symptoms:
- You feel restless, often irritable, on edge, fidgety or keyed up;
- You get tired easily;
- Your muscles feel tense, especially in your back, neck or shoulders; and
- You have difficulty concentrating, falling asleep or staying asleep.
Remember, not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Some people may feel twitching, trembling, shortness of breath, sweating, dry mouth, upset stomach, feeling shaky and being easily startled. The important thing to remember is to go to your primary care physician or your psychiatrist if you are a mental health patient. I am not a doctor or nurse and do not hold myself out there to be one. If you feel that you have these symptoms, you need to get professional help.
I was diagnosed with GAD shortly after I was diagnosed with bipolar. At the time of the diagnosis, my anxiety was off the charts. I was ending one career, teaching and marching into another one which was extremely foreign to me. Teaching had me anxious all the time to the point I could barely function. Studying for my new career as a paralegal was hardly different. That was nearly seven years ago. My anxiety is still here to cause me to shut down and doubt myself.
What I do to get through the anxiety is to pray. Pray hard. God will answer my prayer generally one of two ways: 1) take the anxiety away or 2) hold my hand or carry me through the anxiety storm. It is not an elaborate prayer. Just “Lord, help me though this anxiety.” Or “Take this anxiety away, Jesus.”
Here is some more information on Generalized Anxiety Disorder.