GAD is quite a difficult condition to diagnose as the line between worrying to a logical degree and pathological worrying is a subjective one to a great extent. Some health professionals may be quicker to diagnose it than others. To have GAD, the degree to which you worry needs to be inconsistent with the actual stress you have in your life. There is no specific cause to justify your anxiety – you worry about everything and everyone. A constant state of worry needs to be present for over 6 months which cannot be attributed to any of the other anxiety disorders like obsessions or panic attacks.
For GAD to be diagnosed, at least three of the following symptoms need to be present for about 6 months or more:
- Being on edge or very restless
- Feeling tired
- Having difficulty with concentrating
- Being irritable
- Having muscle tension
- Experiencing disturbed seep
There are often physical symptoms present as well. Sufferers have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep which could develop into insomnia. Very often, there are stomach upsets and headaches. These symptoms, both physical and mental, will have an impact on quality of life so the extent that the sufferer no longer enjoys their life, depending on the severity of the disorder of course. For some, the anxiety they feel may be constant but quite mild nevertheless while for others, they may feel that the end of the world is literally lurking around the next corner.
It is quite rare for one of the anxiety disorders to be present without substance abuse, depression and/or another of the disorders. Before treatment can begin, each component of the sufferers condition needs to be established as each may need a separate treatment process. The good news is that Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be cured and no-one need live under a constant debilitating cloud of worry.