What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder is a disorder in which the main feature is anxiety, which is generalized and persistent, but is not limited to any specific environmental circumstances and does not even occur with a clear preference in these circumstances (that is, it is “non-fixed”).
Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There are facts confirming the genetic origin of panic disorders (15% of first-degree relatives become ill). Psychoanalysis considers the disorder as the result of an unsuccessful unconscious defense against destructive impulses that cause anxiety.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As with other anxiety disorders, the dominant symptoms are very variable, but there are frequent complaints of feelings of constant nervousness, tremors, muscle tension, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, and epigastric discomfort. Often there are fears that the patient or his relative will soon get sick, or an accident will happen to them, as well as other various disturbances and forebodings. This disorder is more common in women and is often associated with chronic environmental stress. The course is different, but there are tendencies to wave-like and chronification.
Diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The patient should have primary symptoms of anxiety most days for a period of at least several weeks in a row, and usually several months. These symptoms usually include:
- fears (anxiety about future failures, a feeling of excitement, difficulty concentrating, etc.);
- motor tension (fussiness, tension headaches, trembling, inability to relax);
- autonomic hyperactivity (sweating, tachycardia or tachypnea, epigastric discomfort, dizziness, dry mouth, etc.)
Children may have a pronounced need to be sedated and recurrent somatic complaints.
The transient appearance (for several days) of other symptoms, especially depression, does not exclude generalized anxiety disorder as the main diagnosis, but the patient does not have to meet the full criteria of a depressive episode, phobic anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Antidepressants, tranquilizers, behavioral therapy, family therapy, psychoanalysis.