Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, is a mental health illness characterized by constant fear or worry, mostly about the past and the future. Most people confuse it with everyday life-induced stress when in reality it’s a lot more than that.
The following are a few commonly experienced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder:
• Persistent worries and racing thoughts
• Restlessness and excessive sweating
• Irritable and low mood
• Muscle tension and digestive issues
• Difficulty concentrating and staying focused
• Being easily fatigued
• Sleep and appetite disturbances
In case you or any of your loved ones happen to have similar symptoms, chances are you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Immediate attention and treatment are crucial or else, the disorder can take a toll on your life.
Facts and Figures of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If you have generalized anxiety disorder, please know that you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common mental health illnesses in the world. Here I have prepared a list of facts about generalized anxiety disorder:
• Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million people in the US every year out of which 80% of people have generalized anxiety disorder.
• Although it’s a highly curable disorder, only 39% of people receive treatment.
• The exact cause behind generalized anxiety disorder is still unknown, but they say life events, personality, brain chemistry, and genetics can play a significant role in its development.
• It is further stated that women are two times more likely to have generalized anxiety disorder compared to men.
• Generalized anxiety disorder affects 25% of children between the age of 13 to 18.
• People with substance abuse patterns are more prone to developing generalized anxiety disorder than the general population.
• 75% of the mental health disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, remain untreated in the world taking more than one million lives annually.
• People with generalized anxiety disorder also struggle with physical symptoms like tension headaches, stomachaches, digestive issues, chest discomfort, and more.
• According to research, generalized anxiety disorder often coexists with chronic depression and other mental health illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
• The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder come gradually and they mostly strike people in adolescence and childhood.
Coping Strategies for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is indeed a chronic mental health condition. There’s no doubt that it can put a significant strain on your life, but thankfully, it’s treatable.
It isn’t anything like an episodic psychotic disorder. With appropriate time and treatment, you can get rid of generalized anxiety disorder once and for all. I’ve read a lot about it and guess what? I’ve found a number of ways to treat generalized anxiety disorder other than relying on anti-anxiety medicines.
Yes, anti-anxiety medicines work well for the treatment of anxiety disorders, but we cannot neglect the fact that they can cause codependency. They have withdrawal side effects, too. Thus, it’s best to avoid them and take the natural route.
Let me highlight a few organic coping strategies to beat generalized anxiety disorder:
Herbs and Plants
Allopathic medicines cause codependency, but herbs and plants don’t. Back in the times when there were no allopathic medicines, people used to rely on herbs and plants for the treatment of both physical and mental health disorders.
There are various herbs and plants that work well for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. How? They come with natural healing properties. They can relax your mind and de-stress your body, exactly what you need to keep anxiety at bay. Such herbs and plants include:
• Canadian hash strains
• St. John’s wort
Speaking of treating generalized anxiety disorder, lifestyle rehabilitation is crucial. That’s right. You need to add exercise to your everyday routine if you wish to combat anxiety naturally. Regular exercise can soothe your mind, boost your energy levels, and uplift your mood by releasing endorphins into your bloodstream.
The great thing is that there’s no particular exercise for anxiety relief, something as little as a few minutes of walk in nature can help. The goal is to increase physical activity. You can also try breathing exercises. It is said that deep breathing can instantly lower anxiety levels.
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is a key to healthy living. Whether it’s a physical ailment or a mental health disorder, your diet plays a vital role in both the development and the elimination of the issue.
If you want to get rid of generalized anxiety disorder naturally, you need to ditch foods and beverages contributing to anxiety. Yes, certain food and beverages increase your anxiety levels; for example, coffee, tea, and dark chocolate.
It happens due to the presence of caffeine in them. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you jittery and restless. Although the caffeine tolerance level is different for everyone, it’s wise to skip it altogether.
Sharing the Emotions
There’s an apprehension in opening up to someone, but it can be helpful especially in the case of chronic anxiety. When you talk about your worries and fears, half of your stress is released right there and then.
Thus, it’s best to talk to family or friends about the things that concern you. They may show you a different angle to what you see. External validation is something necessary in such scenarios.
If you’re not comfortable sharing your emotions with someone, you can always write them down. Writing a journal is also helpful when it comes to the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Write your story in your own words, talk to yourself, and share it all with your journal. I’m sure the journal won’t judge you for anything.
Lastly, please know that it takes time. Everything in the world takes time. You may not see an instant improvement when following the measures mentioned above, but trust me; they’ll eventually help you get out of the pits of anxiety. You’ll feel stronger and better than ever!
This is a guest post by David Martin. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar. The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein. This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice. This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort. If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.