Generalized Anxiety

What is generalised anxiety disorder?

People with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) worry excessively about a number of different areas of life, such as family, health, finances, and work difficulties. People with GAD are plagued by these worries most days, for several months or more, and are also bothered by symptoms like:

  • feeling constantly ‘on edge’ and unable to relax.
  • muscle tension.
  • difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • feeling tired or easily exhausted.
  • increased irritability.
  • trouble concentrating and focussing on a task.

Why do I feel this way?

Generalized anxiety can be triggered by a stressful life event such as losing a job, relationship breakdowns, and other periods of prolonged stress, but it’s often caused by a combination of factors and not just one thing. Other factors such as a family history of mental health problems, chronic physical health issues, and certain personality types – such as being a perfectionist or having low self-esteem – can make it more likely that someone will develop GAD.

You are not alone.

GAD is one of the most common anxiety disorders. Approximately six out of 100 Australians experience it at some point in their lives. Some research suggests that GAD might be even more common in veterans; at one stage or another about 14 out of 100 Vietnam veterans have been affected by it.  Many people with GAD suffer from other mental health problems as well; over their lifetime, someone with GAD is about 5 times more likely than the average person to have depression, and twice as likely to have a problem with drugs or alcohol.

What treatments or strategies can help?

One of the most effective treatments for GAD is cognitive behavioural therapy – this approach recognises that the way we think and act affects the way we feel. Typically, during this therapy you will learn:

  • relaxation strategies such as controlled breathing and muscle relaxation exercises
  • a step-by-step problem-solving approach to help manage day to day problems so that they don’t seem so overwhelming
  • strategies to challenge negative thoughts that might be triggering and maintaining your worry (like “everything’s going wrong” or “I can’t deal with this”).

For more information on Generalized Anxiety Disorder click here.

If you’re struggling with anxiety and in need of help contact Lighthouse Counselling Vancouver to receive your free consultation.  For more information click here, or call 604-809-5848.  Help is just a click away!