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Generalized anxiety also popularly referred to as GAD is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable, exaggerated anxiety and often worries about daily life events. Sufferers of this anxiety disorder always anticipate disaster and cannot help but worry about money, health, work, school, friend issues, family problems and death! (This is usually the part where you say “Yikes!”)

Generalized anxiety usually affects the way the sufferer thinks and this specicific anxiety disorder can lead to several physical symptoms that include:

    Headaches
    An unrealistic view of a problem(s)
    Nausea
    Startle easily
    Sleep problem (falling or staying asleep)
    Excessive ongoing worry and tension (over little or nothing)
    Irritability
    Restlessness or always feeling edgy
    Muscle tension
     Sweating
    Trembling or shaking
    Fatigue
    Trouble with concentration
    Always feeling the need to use the bathroom
    Chronic stomach aches

Causes of generalized anxiety

No one actually knows the exact cause of GAD, but there are several factors that have been known to cause or trigger GAD.
There are three (3) known factors that contribute to the development of this anxiety disorder and these factors are:

1)    The Genetic Factor: some studies suggest that family genes play a major role in increasing the chances that an individual will develop GAD. Statistics have also shown that children whose parents suffered from some kind of anxiety disorder are more likely to develop the disorder themselves. There is a 27 percent chance of inheriting an anxiety disorder from a parent and......(sighs)........the chances double if both parents suffered from a generalized anxiety. In a nutshell, this means GAD can be passed on in families.
2)    Brain Chemistry: GAD has also been linked with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain of an individual. Okay! For those of us who do not know what “neurotransmitters” are – well, these are special chemical messengers that help the body move information from nerve cell to another nerve cell. So, if the neurotransmitters are not properly balanced, messages will not be able to get through the brain properly. This imbalance can change the way the brain reacts to certain situation, which leads to anxiety.
3)    Environmental Factors: Generalized anxiety is more common in people who have a history with trauma, sexual abuse, death of a loved one, divorce, physical abuse, disability, changing jobs or schools. Stress is also known to actually worsen the symptoms of this anxiety disorder. The constant use and withdrawal from addictive substances, some of which includes caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can also worsen the anxiety symptoms too. Women are also at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety disorders during and within their first couple of months before and after giving birth to a baby.

Generalized anxiety can be treated with the use of prescription medication, herbs, behavioral therapy, exercises, hypnosis, and relaxation techniques. People who think that they may be suffering from GAD should visit their doctors who will suggest suitable treatment therapies or medication.