Anxiety can be a normal part of life when we feel nervous for an interview, a first date or any situation that causes some worries and fear. However, for people with an anxiety-related mental illness those feelings of fear and worry can be much more severe and affect their life continually. An issue like generalized anxiety disorder can interfere with a person’s ability to work, manage relationships or simply live out their daily routine.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of persistent and excessive worry about many different things. A person with this disorder might have anxiety about a potential disaster or issues with money, family, health, work or anything that they feel could cause problems for them. Their worry typically is more excessive than the actual situation would warrant and they find it hard to control their feelings of anxiety to the point where it can stop them from accomplishing things.
Psychiatrists usually diagnose someone with generalized anxiety disorder when they experience persistent feelings of worry on more days than not for a period of at least six months. People that are having normal feelings of anxiety will have them in response to a specific stressor and it will usually resolve itself when the situation ends. Someone with anxiety disorder will find that their worries continue for months and are not a reaction to specific event but a general sense of fear about various subjects.
People with generalized anxiety disorder can still live functional and meaningful lives when they receive treatment and find coping mechanisms to help reduce their symptoms. Therapy and medication can both be useful tools in minimizing feelings of anxiety and making it easier to get through a daily routine without too much worry. If you think you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder contact a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.