Generalized anxiety disorder or “GAD” is the broadest and most common form of anxiety. It is simply worrying too much about everyday problems, anything and everything – large and small. But you might wonder, at what point can you say that you’re worrying too much?
When we refer to GAD, we are speaking about having ever-present anxious thoughts and feelings almost every day and for a period of six months or longer. Indeed the anxiety is usually so persistent that the worrying gets in the way of daily life and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue and lack of concentration.
Sally Winston of The Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson says, “The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety and worry is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction.”
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is more prevalent in our society than what the average person might think. GAD actually affects close to 5% of the entire western population. Individuals with GAD worry to an excessive extent and uncontrollably about daily life events and circumstances. People with GAD often have disruptive physical symptoms, such as fatigue, sore muscles, trouble sleeping and concentrating.
The good news is that, for most people that suffer with GAD, there is an easy solution. You don’t have to live your life as a worry wort and run the risk of contracting a severe mental disorder. If you feel like your worrying is approaching the point where it is affecting your quality of life and your relationships, it is probably time to take action.