Anxiety becomes a disorder when it begins to affect your ability to cope or your ability to carry out your normal activities of daily living or interact with the world around you appropriately. People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part, because they think that being able to leave may be difficult or impossible if they have panic reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual may become homebound. This booklet discusses the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
It is possible to develop generalized anxiety disorder in childhood or adulthood. Generalized anxiety disorder has symptoms that are similar to those of panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other types of anxiety, but they are all different conditions. Anxiety is a problem when it becomes overwhelming or uncontrollable and comes up unexpectedly. Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that have a big impact on your life.
People can avoid carrying out their daily lives to avoid anxiety. They may experience many uncomfortable physical sensations and physical health problems. Many people say they know that their anxiety is not based on reality, but they feel “trapped” by their thoughts and feelings. It's important to seek help if you're worried about anxiety in your life.
Typical anxiety includes nerves before a test or worry about the future. When it comes to a big decision, it's understandable to be nervous. However, with an anxiety disorder, nervousness and worry can be all-consuming. Anxiety disorders make anxiety not go away and, in fact, can increase over time if not addressed properly.
They can also be used “as needed” to reduce acute anxiety, including as a preventive intervention for some predictable forms of performance anxiety. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the specific anxieties of the person and adapted to his or her needs. Approximately 25% of the population has an anxiety disorder that warrants treatment at some point in their lives and up to another 25% have less severe anxieties, such as fear of spiders and snakes.