The Mayo Clinic reports that experiencing anxiety from time to time is a normal experience, but anxiety that manifests itself in people through constant worry and tension is not normal. People who experience a feeling of constant anxiety may be experiencing the symptom of the mental health disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), according to the Mayo Clinic. GAD affects 3.1 percent of the population in the United States every year according to Anxiety Disorders Association of America, but you can find treatment and relief.
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Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The foundational characteristic of GAD is persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things, according to ADAA. People who experience the constant worry found in GAD feel their worrying is out of their control and they don’t know how to stop it. According to FamilyDoctor.org, more than 4 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with GAD, and women are more likely to experience it than men. This ongoing worry or anxiety that is unrelated to particular events or situations usually begins affecting people in their early 20s, as stated by ADAA.
The causes of constant anxiety, a symptom of GAD, are still unknown. It is hypothesized that the neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, are likely influential in anxiety, as reported by Mayo Clinic--as well as the factors of genetics, your environment, the stressful events you experience and your reactions.
Benefits of Exercise and Diet
When dealing with constant feelings of anxiety, there are several changes you can make to increase your ability to cope. An important step to take is to get daily exercise. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the biggest benefits from exercise come from at least 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous exercise each week. Reduce your consumption of alcohol, as it can induce anxiety symptoms, and increase your intake of beneficial foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, reports the Mayo Clinic.
Learn to incorporate humor and laughter into your life on a daily basis. According to Helpguide, laughter can dissolve feelings of anxiety. Don’t isolate yourself. Interaction with others and socialization can help you put worries into perspective, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or counting to help reduce your anxiety in the moment.
The main treatment for the constant feelings of anxiety found in GAD is cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. This therapeutic technique will help you identify, understand and begin to change your flawed thinking and behaviors, according to ADAA. Also, the ADAA suggests that therapy will help you learn to control your worry and develop new skills to cope with anxiety. In addition, treatments can include the use of medications. Several different types of medications are used to treat the constant worry associated with GAD. These options include antidepressants, the anti-anxiety medication buspirone, and benzodiazepine, a sedative use in short-term treatments, reports Mayo Clinic. All of these medications can be used in conjunction with therapy, and you should consult your doctor and mental health professional to discuss your options.