All Things Monica

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I have been dealing with chronic depression since at least the age of 11. I have been to several counselors and have taken various medications, both of which have helped a great deal. I always felt that this was my major issue and primary cross to bear. I have since realized (through God, mom, and my therapist) that my depression is just the result of having Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.

GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months.13 People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.

Other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse2,4 often accompany GAD, which rarely occurs alone. GAD is commonly treated with medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy, but co-occurring conditions must also be treated using the appropriate therapies. (nimh.nih.gov)

This is the reason I’ve always worried about everything. You may think, “Well, everyone worries, right?” This is more than every day worries. I agonized in Staples yesterday about choosing an assigment planner for classes. I went up and down the aisles at least 10 times. When I think I’ve hurt someone or if someone has hurt me, I think about the conversation that happened and the ones that could/should have over and over for months, sometimes years. When I was 13, I’d lay in bed for hours at night distraught about whether or not my children would be kind to animals! Not normal.

Because I thought that everyone thinks the way I do, I never really talked about what went on in my head much. Just in the last few years, I’ve said things that made my mom take notice. She suggested that I may have anxiety issues. Since then, I’ve started taking medication for that as well, going to a therapist again, and working my way through the Anxiety & Phobia Workbook. I have also taken steps to get neurofeedback done.

My mother says, “Anxiety steals the joy from life.” Thus, the depression. As frustrating as it is to have something like this, it’s good to be able to label it so I can start to deal with it.

Categories: mental health

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