Generalized Anxiety (TAG): what is it, symptoms, has a cure?

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Known as TAG, generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of excessive worry and persistent apprehension for a period of 6 months or more. These feelings are accompanied by symptoms such as restlessness, muscle tension, among others.

Unlike most anxiety disorders, in which there are acute crises with intense physical symptoms, the patient with GAD suffers from milder but constant anxiety – it is as if the patient simply cannot stop worrying.

This disorder can bring many difficulties to the day-to-day, since the constant stress that the patient goes through ends up draining his energies. The individual may have trouble concentrating, experiencing irritability and even being overwhelmed by extreme and debilitating fatigue .

The bearer of TAG can be defined as an extremely worried person and who suffers in several areas of his life for not being able to put that concern aside. It is affected not only in professional life, but also in social life and academic life.

In general, their concerns are focused on everyday matters that everyone is concerned with, such as health, money, social problems, family, friends, death, among others. However, unlike most people, these individuals simply cannot disconnect from these concerns, and feel them even when there is no sign of imminent danger.

Speaking of danger, this is exactly what the patient with GAD feels all the time: for him, some disaster will happen at any time and he will have difficulties in getting back on top. It is a diffuse hypervigilance, related to all areas considered important for human life.

In a way, anxiety is something natural and that brings a certain advantage to life. However, when it is too much, it becomes pathological. This subject will be addressed more deeply in the topic “Physiological anxiety versus pathological anxiety”.

In the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), the TAG can be found by the code F41.1.

Is TAG common?

It may not seem like a very common thing, but anxiety is present in the lives of about 20 million Brazilians. In fact, Brazil is the most anxious country in the world.

The generalized anxiety disorder, in particular, affects 3 to 6% of the world population, and is more frequent in women under 21 years of age. Among the elderly, the percentage is 7 to 10%.

Physiological anxiety versus pathological anxiety

There are two types of anxiety: physiological and pathological. The difference between them is more related to the intensity and situations in which they appear than to their symptoms.

Physiological anxiety is natural to humans and even other animals. It serves to help the individual to better plan his actions in the face of dangerous situations.

When we have a job interview, a seminar presentation, an important test or even a musical presentation, it is normal to have a feeling of unease, mixed with fear and the desire to end everything soon. This is the physiological anxiety at work.

None of these situations is dangerous in the sense of being able to take life, but it would be disastrous for our lives if any of them went wrong. Failing to get a job at an inspiring company, or failing at a presentation to an audience has unpleasant financial and social consequences.

If we were not anxious, we would run the risk of going to the job interview without thinking straight about what will be said, or we would not study as much for our presentation. In that sense, anxiety is an unpleasant but advantageous feeling: a clear sign that what we are going to do is important to us.

The problem is when these symptoms start to happen for no apparent reason or when they are extremely intense. People who have difficulty speaking in public may experience bouts of diarrhea before a seminar, for example. Others may experience shortness of breath, palpitations and sweating during work hours for no reason.

In the case of GAD, these symptoms are usually less intense, but constant. The person is always concerned about something, even if there is no reason to do so. An individual with this disorder may be concerned about his finances even though there is R $ 5,000.00 in his bank account and the bills are all paid.

There is evidence that people who suffer from pathological anxiety have a lag in the mechanism of regulation of physiological anxiety and, therefore, it is more intense and lasting.

In the case of pathological anxiety, there are also consequences of performance at work, in academic life, in social relationships and any other daily activity.

Causes

It is not known exactly what are the direct causes of generalized anxiety disorder. However, there is evidence that genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors are involved. Understand:

Genetics

There are several studies that point to a possible genetic component in TAG. This is because people with a family history are more likely to develop the disorder. It is not known, however, whether there is a specific gene causing the problem.

Research shows that there is a 50% correlation between identical twins and 15% between non-identical twins, which strengthens this notion that there is a genetic component among the causes of this disorder.

Neurochemical factors

Brain chemistry appears to be linked to the appearance of several anxiety disorders. Among them, the TAG.

Since anxiety is a physiological reaction, the body itself has the necessary mechanisms to stop it when necessary. However, there are indications that anxious people have a malfunction in this mechanism.

In the brain, neurons communicate via electrical impulses and chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters. When a neuron sends an electrical impulse to another, it turns that impulse into chemical energy and transmits it through neurotransmitters.

During anxiety, neurons are agitated, sending messages all the time, because the body is hypervigilant.

To deal with this when anxiety is no longer needed, there is a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, more often called GABA. It is released to increase the resistance of neurons to the transmission of information.

Therefore, when GABA binds to a neuron, it prevents that neuron from remaining hyperactive, promoting calm.

In healthy people, GABA is released in sufficient quantities to reach a large number of neurons and the person is calmer. In cases of pathological anxiety, it is believed that:

  1. Or a low amount of GABA is released;
  2. Or the released GABA cannot bind to neurons for some reason.

Fortunately, there are drugs available on the market that can assist this mechanism. We will talk more about this in the topic “Medicines for generalized anxiety disorder”.

Environmental factors

Several environmental factors can influence not only anxiety, but many other mental disorders. Living in stressful environments, experiencing trauma, living with a violent family or fighting too much are all factors that can contribute to a decline in mental health .

Among other factors that can assist in the development of TAG, are:

  • Stress at work or in studies;
  • High psychological pressure environments;
  • Experiencing physical or psychological abuse, situations of violence and other traumas;
  • Death of a loved one;
  • Divorce;
  • Situations of major changes such as changing jobs, promoting work, finishing graduation, changing city or country, among others;
  • Financial problems or unemployment;
  • Complicated interpersonal relationships.

Alcoholism

There is research that points to alcoholism as a possible cause of generalized anxiety disorder. In such cases, prolonged abstinence from alcohol is enough to solve the problem.

Risk factors

Among the main risk factors for the development of TAG are:

Sex

Generalized anxiety disorder is more common in women. This can be related to a combination of factors, such as hormonal changes, frequent exposure to stress or even the role of women in society.

Nowadays, the woman is still seen as a being who cares and takes care of everything and everyone. She is the housewife, the mother, who takes care of domestic matters, among others.

Therefore, many women have to deal with the pressure of taking care of their children, of keeping the house always tidy, of being a good companion or hostess …

Not infrequently, the woman ends up being the command center of the house, taking care of the agenda of the children and husbands, making appointments for the other family members when necessary, among other activities that end up being attributed to the women.

Because of all this, it is not surprising that women are concerned about many things at the same time, and chronic concern is a risk factor for GAD.

Chronic concern

Worrying about what is important is normal. However, many people worry too much about things that, at times, need not worry.

Taking stock of the month’s expenses is healthy, but living with a scorpion in your pocket to keep from spending more for fear of unforeseen circumstances can be a sign that something is wrong. The same is true in all walks of life.

This concerned behavior generates unnecessary stress that can contribute to the development of generalized anxiety disorder.

Personality

Personality can be defined as a set of psychological characteristics that determine certain patterns of behavior, thinking, emotional reactions, among others.

There are people who have a certain negative cognitive tendency, that is, they emphasize what is unpleasant. The good things that happen in these people’s lives are important, but they still tend to pay more attention to their daily misfortunes.

Thus, these people end up entering a vicious cycle of humor, because they have negative thoughts and, when something unpleasant happens, this pattern of thinking is reinforced. However, when something good happens, there is no reinforcement of positive thoughts, because the person’s cognitive tendency is negative.

This personality trait is found in many people with mood disorders, such as depression , and anxiety.

Comorbidities

Having a chronic health problem or a diagnosis of a mental disorder increases the likelihood of developing GAD.

Being diagnosed with cancer , for example, can make a person very concerned with making plans for the future, especially when they have a family to care for, and then they become overly concerned with financial, health, education issues , etc.

In addition, many people who develop GAD also have some other anxiety disorder, such as panic syndrome, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others. Depression is also present in many of the diagnosed patients. The relationship between depression and anxiety is still unclear, but it exists and is quite common.

People with personality or mood disorders are also more likely to develop GAD.

Substance abuse

Excessive use of drugs, both legal and illegal, may be related to the onset of generalized anxiety disorder.

It may be that the individual uses drugs because of the anxiety itself, since these substances help the patient to better deal with the sensations caused by the disorder, or the condition itself can be a side effect of this abuse.

In the case of alcohol, for example, patients who had a long period of withdrawal had a significant improvement in the symptoms of the disorder.

Symptoms

The most notable symptom present in TAG is excessive concern and constant apprehension, even though there are no reasons for these feelings. They arise in relation to the most diverse spheres of human life and can change focus at any time.

Better understand the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder below:

Thoughts

The content of thoughts is what most delivers an individual with TAG. Extremist and negative thoughts like “my husband is late, something must have happened to him” or “if the flight is delayed, I will miss my interview” are constant and appear for no reason.

This first thought may occur due to a 20-minute delay in traffic, and the second may well appear in the individual’s mind even though the flight is scheduled to arrive at its destination 5 hours before the interview.

Often, these people think that they cannot turn off their thoughts, that they simply run through the mind and there is nothing that can be done.

Frequent feelings of fear and apprehension

No matter what the reason, anything is seen as a threat to the person with generalized anxiety disorder. She may leave the house already thinking about all the precautions she should take in the event of a disaster on the street, or she may fear ceaselessly for her loved ones.

Inability to tolerate uncertainty

Another striking symptom in TAG is the inability to tolerate uncertainties. Nobody likes to be without an answer, but for the individual with generalized anxiety disorder, waiting for a conclusion in some situation is a faithful representation of hell on Earth.

The individual cannot do anything if there is no certainty that he will be successful or that he will gain something from it. His fear of “wasting time” is so great that he may fail to carry out several projects because of this.

If the person has a scheduled trip and, shortly thereafter, has a wedding to go to, months before he starts to worry if everything is going to go well. This person cannot deal with issues such as whether the flight is delayed or if any unforeseen event occurs. The possibility of something going wrong and missing the wedding haunts your thoughts day and night even long before your scheduled dates.

Inability to relax

It is useless to reach a TAG holder and try to make him relax, presenting some entertainment options for him to be distracted. Relaxing is an extremely distant reality for these people.

The individual simply cannot disconnect his thoughts from what torments him. Even if you are watching a movie and enjoying it, something in the movie will inevitably remind you of some situation in your life, and he will start to worry about it again.

Difficulty concentrating

Because of constantly worrying, the TAG carrier often finds it very difficult to focus on the activities he is carrying out. As in the film, which instead of distracting, reminds you of what bothers you, the individual is also unable to disconnect from his problems during work or studies.

Difficulty with self-expression

Expressing yourself is a real challenge for those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. These people tend to feel danger everywhere and, therefore, are unable to be themselves in various situations, including in the company of friends and family.

Avoid certain situations

A hallmark of all anxiety disorders is the habit of avoiding the situations that give rise to these feelings of anxiety. However, in the case of TAG patients, these situations can be as diverse as possible, after all, they feel in danger almost everywhere.

Perfectionism

Another very common symptom in anxiety disorders is perfectionism, that is, the inability to do some work or perform a function without being done with mastery.

People who suffer from GAD may take a long time reviewing their college assignments before handing them over or have trouble at work because it takes too long to deliver a project because they stick to details.

The simple fear of failing or delivering something below your own expectations is already something that seriously torments this individual.

Physical symptoms

Despite being less intense and frequent in GAD than in other anxiety disorders, individuals with this disorder may suffer from some physical symptoms. Are they:

  • Feeling of tension and muscle stiffness;
  • Body pain;
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) due to the overactive mind;
  • Restlessness;
  • Bruxism;
  • Stomach problems, such as dysphagia;
  • Sickness;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Excessive sweating;
  • Need to go to the bathroom frequently;
  • Tremors and spasms.

When should I see a doctor?

As anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s life, it is not very clear when it becomes a problem and should be analyzed by a doctor.

However, there are some signs that the situation is getting out of hand and help needs to be sought. Are they:

  • Excessive concern that leads to decreased performance at work, studies, relationships and other spheres of life;
  • Symptoms of depression, alcoholism or substance abuse;
  • Avoid specific situations that can trigger feelings of anxiety;
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

The problem with anxiety disorders is that symptoms do not usually improve over time, on the contrary: they just get worse and become more intense without medical help. Therefore, if you identify with the points mentioned above, seek help as soon as possible.

How is the diagnosis made?

When realizing that you need to seek medical help, you should make an appointment with a psychiatrist , the doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. The psychologist can also assist in the diagnosis.

At first, the doctor will ask for information about the patient’s symptoms and medical history. This information is important to rule out the possibility that it is another problem.

He may also request a family history of mental disorders, as there are several disorders with a genetic component. There are also psychologists who usually apply standardized psychological questionnaires to identify the patient’s level of anxiety.

The report produced by these psychologists can be taken to the psychiatrist for a more detailed analysis.

There are some criteria for the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a book published by the American Psychiatric Association widely used by mental health professionals to assist in the diagnosis. Such criteria are:

  • Presence of anxiety on most days during the last 6 months, impairing several activities;
  • 3 or more of the following symptoms for diagnosis in adults, or 1 in children:
    • Restlessness or feeling of being nervous with the nerves of the skin;
    • Fatigue;
    • Difficulty concentrating or “white” sensations in the mind;
    • Irritability;
    • Muscle tension;
    • Sleep disturbances, such as difficulties in achieving or maintaining sleep, or unsatisfactory and restless sleep.

It is worth remembering that, for the diagnosis to be possible, it is necessary to be sure that the symptoms are not caused by the physiological effects of any substance (use of drugs or medication) or any medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism .

Comorbidities and differential diagnoses

In some cases, GAD may be accompanied by other mental disorders or even be confused with other conditions.

Not infrequently, the disorder is confused with panic syndrome, a type of anxiety in which the patient believes to be at risk of life and has symptoms similar to that of certain situations, such as a heart attack or suffocation.

If anxiety occurs simultaneously with major depression, then the diagnosis must be a mixed anxiety and depressive disorder . In cases where it occurs only in social events, the diagnosis is social phobia .

In cases where anxiety is found together with “useless” habits that the individual insists on doing and / or repeating even without need, the diagnosis is of obsessive-compulsive disorder ( OCD ) .

Such habits can be simple, like washing your hands or closing the doors repeatedly, or more complex, like rituals of turning off and turning on the light precisely 5 times before going to sleep or opening the drawers 3 times before picking up a cutlery.

Can generalized anxiety disorder be cured?

Unfortunately, generalized anxiety disorder is often persistent and difficult to treat. However, the patient may, however, go into remission .

The difference between remission and cure is that, in cure, there is a total absence of the disease, while in cases of remission, what is absent are the symptoms. That is, the symptoms tend to return as soon as treatment is discontinued, as the disease has not been eradicated.

Thus, it is possible that the patient needs treatment for life, not being something punctual that can be resolved in a few weeks or months.

What is the treatment?

The treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is complex and includes the use of medications and psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy

One of the most recommended treatments for anxiety disorder sufferers is psychological therapy. In it, a psychologist will help the client to get to know himself better and modify, in himself, what the client feels disturbs him.

There are several approaches to psychology that can help a person with anxiety disorders. Among them, one of the most recommended is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

This is because this specific approach helps the client to recognize and modify their thought patterns and behaviors that generate situations in which anxiety manifests. In addition, the psychologist can teach techniques to relieve anxiety at times when it has already appeared.

Finally, the mental health professional helps to avoid distortions of thought and helps the client to face their concerns in a more realistic way.

Other approaches are also effective, but they use other techniques to assist the client in combating anxiety. However, CBT is one of the most used because of its great scientific support.

A review of 35 articles (Gould, Otto, Pollack & Yap, 1997) indicates that cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments for GAD, being superior, even, to the medications themselves.

The same study also points out that the results are even better when psychotherapy is integrated with pharmacological treatment.

Within CBT, there are still other “mini” approaches that can assist in the treatment of the individual with GAD. Are they:

Acceptance and commitment therapy

This type of therapy is based on cognitive-behavioral, but its therapeutic goals are more specific. Are they:

  • Reduce the use of avoidance strategies, which aim to escape certain feelings, thoughts, memories and sensations;
  • Decrease the individual’s literal responses to his thoughts (example: understanding that negative thoughts, such as “I am a horrible person”, are not reality but a distortion of thinking);
  • Increase the ability to remain committed to your behavioral changes.

All of this must be done through mindfulness techniques (which bring the individual’s attention to his purpose in the present moment, his surroundings and his body) and acceptance skills in order to respond appropriately to events beyond his control.

Uncertainty intolerance therapy

Intolerance to uncertainty is a very common feature in the mind of people with GAD. Therefore, there is a kind of therapy focused mainly on dealing with this feeling.

Uncertainty intolerance can be defined as a negative reaction in relation to ambiguous or uncertain events, regardless of the probability of occurrence of these events.

When traveling by plane, the patient with TAG cannot help thinking about the possibility of the plane falling and no one surviving. Even if it is a very remote chance, the patient cannot deal with this uncertainty: he needs assurance that the plane will arrive at its destination safely, and this causes a lot of distress.

Therefore, uncertainty intolerance therapy focuses on helping the client to develop an ability to accept uncertainty. For this, the psychologist helps the individual to develop the following skills:

  • Awareness of concerns;
  • Reassessing the importance of these concerns;
  • Problem solving training;
  • Recognition of uncertainties;
  • Imagine exposure to these uncertainties;
  • Gradual exposure to uncertain events.

Motivational interview

The motivational interview is a methodology that seeks to increase the client’s intrinsic motivation and reduce ambivalent feelings regarding the proposed changes in treatment. It is especially effective when used in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Medicines

The drugs used to treat GAD differ by the duration of treatment. Understand:

Short-term treatment

In the short term, the drugs used to treat various anxiety disorders are anxiolytics , especially benzodiazepines. They have a sedative effect that helps in decreasing anxiety symptoms.

These drugs are generally used at the beginning of treatment, when a faster therapeutic effect is needed.

However, if used for a long time, they cause tolerance and dependence, making the individual need increasingly higher doses for the medication to take effect. Thus, the abuse of these drugs can lead to death.

Some examples of benzodiazepines are:

  • Alprazolam (Frontal);
  • Diazepam (Valium);
  • Lorazepam (Lorax);
  • Clonazepam (Rivotril).

Long-term treatment

As we saw above, benzodiazepines cannot be used in the long term because of the danger of addiction. Thus, the drugs used in the treatment of GAD in the long term are antidepressants, which also help to improve anxiety symptoms.

Unlike benzodiazepines, these drugs are not addictive and have less serious side effects. However, they are not used right at the start of treatment because the therapeutic effect takes, on average, 15 days to achieve.

Some examples of these drugs are:

  • Paroxetine Hydrochloride ( Pondera );
  • Venlafaxine hydrochloride ;
  • Fluoxetine Hydrochloride ( Prozac );
  • Escitalopram Oxalate ( Lexapro );
  • Sertraline Hydrochloride ( Zoloft );
  • Duloxetine Hydrochloride ( Cymbalta ).

Attention!

NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Will I have to take medication forever?

As TAG is difficult to treat, many people wonder whether pharmacological treatment is for life. Fortunately, no , there is no need to take the drugs forever.

After the symptoms disappear, pharmacological treatment must be continued for 6 to 12 months. Then, the use of medications should be discontinued, gradually decreasing the dose.

If the symptoms return, the treatment must be readjusted so that they go into remission again. However, many people manage to discontinue pharmacological treatment after a few years, especially when they have had psychotherapeutic follow-up.

Coexisting: Tips to overcome TAG

Living preoccupied with everything all the time is not easy. So, here are some tips to improve living with the disease and help overcome it:

Do physical activities

It may not seem very intuitive, but the mind is not an entity separate from the body. Physical activities stimulate the production and release of serotonin , the main neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, heart rate, sensitivity to pain, body temperature, among other body and cognitive processes.

This substance provides long-term pleasure and well-being, which greatly helps the TAG patient to better cope with his feelings.

If you don’t practice any kind of physical activity, start as soon as possible! Even a simple walk can help.

Keep in mind, however, that physical activity alone will not cure the problem, as many people think. Despite assisting in the regulation of certain neurotransmitters and in the general health of the individual, these activities are not capable of substituting an adequate therapy.

Consume food with tryptophan

Tryptophan is a substance found in several foods that assists in the synthesis of serotonin. Therefore, having a greater amount of tryptophan in the diet helps to improve the availability of this neurotransmitter.

But be careful not to overdo it! Foods that contain this substance are often rich in protein , but cannot meet all the body’s nutritional needs.

Therefore, having a balanced diet and including these foods sensibly is the best way. If you need help, consult your nutritionist so that he or she will recommend a suitable diet for you.

Some foods rich in tryptophan are:

  • Meats;
  • Fish;
  • Eggs;
  • Cheeses;
  • Milk and milk products;
  • Peanut;
  • Cashew nut;
  • Pea;
  • Almonds;
  • Avocado;
  • Potato;
  • Banana.

Combat daily stress

One of the risk factors for anxious symptoms is chronic stress. Therefore, knowing how to fight everyday stress can help a lot in improving the condition.

Meditation, aromatherapy, music therapy, yoga and reiki are just some of the practices that can help you stay calm even in times of high pressure.

As with physical activities, none of these practices is able to cure GAD. Therefore, it is important to use them only as an aid in treatment, and not as a substitute.

Have achievable goals

Goals are a great way to realize what has worked out in life. So it is very good for a person with TAG to have goals, since these people have a tendency to see only the negative side of things.

However, setting goals that are difficult to achieve in a short time is more harmful than healthy. This is because the delay in reaching these goals can reinforce the negative feelings of the TAG patient.

Therefore, it is interesting not to dream too much and set achievable goals, such as “running 20 minutes on the treadmill every day for 30 days”. Such a goal is completely attainable, isn’t it? And the feeling of reward is extremely pleasurable, helping in the individual’s mood.

Breathe deeply

Did you know that, among the many benefits of deep breathing , is the relief of anxious symptoms?

When we are anxious, the autonomic nervous system (of which we have no control and does everything on its own) initiates a series of physiological reactions so that we can be prepared in case it is necessary to fight or flee.

With that, the heartbeat increases, the breathing becomes faster and shallow, very frequent symptoms during an anxiety crisis . This is the body reacting to stress. However, this autonomic nervous system can be deceived and react when it doesn’t need to.

At such times, taking a deep breath is the only thing that really works.

This is because deep breathing helps in the release of GABA, the main depressive neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. This means that when the brain is in full swing, this neurotransmitter arrives and says “calm down, it’s okay, we can relax”.

In this way, the autonomic nervous system understands the message and returns to normal functioning of the organism. That is, goodbye anxiety symptoms!

Avoid thinking about the possibilities

A very striking feature of anxious thinking is the amount of thoughts that start with “what if …”. This is just a consequence of anxiety, but continuing to think like that ends up feeding those anxious feelings that, in turn, promote more thoughts like that.

So it is important to police yourself and avoid thinking about the possibilities, especially the negative ones. It can be extremely difficult at first, but gradually this exercise becomes easier.

A cognitive-behavioral psychologist can be of great help at these times, as he understands how thoughts and behavior work, and can help you find the most assertive way to change your thoughts.

Celebrate every achievement

Even if it’s not a big deal, celebrate all the achievements. Spending a day without calling friends in search of reaffirmation, being able to go to the cinema without knowing which movie is going on, taking the bus without counting delays or the possibility of accidents, are all “small” things that should be celebrated.

So, when you realize that you have stopped doing something that contributed to the TAG, stop everything and celebrate! If you are at work, in college or cannot celebrate vigorously, celebrate in silence, with yourself, but celebrate.

The celebration should be done as soon as you realize the achievement, as the brain associates this pleasurable sensation with the achievement that you had, and so it will tend to repeat this achievement more often due to the feeling of pleasure.

Soothing teas

For times of great anxiety, a tea can help a lot. There are several teas that assist in the release and use of GABA, which combats the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Thus, having the habit of taking soothing teas can help in the treatment. However, it is important to talk to your psychiatrist before taking the teas, as some of them may interact with the medication.

Some examples of soothing teas are:

  • Chamomile;
  • Hop;
  • Valerian;
  • Lemongrass;
  • Passion fruit;
  • Lavender;
  • Rosemary;
  • Melissa.

Organize your day to day

One of the most stressful things in everyday life is disorganization, be it ideas, tasks to do, clothes in the closet, whatever. So, creating a method of organization can help fight stress and, in addition, you will be able to find everything you need more easily.

It is possible to organize the day’s tasks so you don’t have to worry if something happens and you can’t do what you needed to do. That way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do when things get back to normal.

It is also good to separate important things and store them in specific places, so that everything is easily accessible. So, you don’t have to worry about losing a deadline because you can’t find a document.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that seeks to relieve unpleasant sensations by promoting greater attention and awareness of the individual’s physical sensations and surroundings. It is to bring yourself back to the here-and-now, the way it is, and to disconnect from what could be.

At first, the individual must pay attention to his own bodily sensations and accept them. In times of stress, accepting the symptoms of anxiety is just a way to combat them. Becoming aware of them and focusing on the present means that the individual is in the current experience, and not traveling in his thoughts.

In this way, the body tends to return to normal, since the mind is no longer taken by worries, but by the present moment, the way it is.

Have hobbies

Leisure activities are extremely important for all people and, for a person with GAD, they may end up being left out due to excessive concern. However, it is never too late to discover a new hobby!

Investing time to learn a new skill certainly contributes to the quality of life of people with anxiety disorders. Among these skills are singing, playing a musical instrument, drawing, cooking, embroidering, crochet, among others.

Self knowledge

Knowing yourself is an extremely important step in solving various problems in life, and with anxiety it is no different. Knowing who you are and how you work is what will give you the strength to fight adversity, stress and anxious symptoms.

Try to carry out activities that promote self-knowledge, such as medication, mindfulness, psychotherapy, among others.

Adequate sleep

Sleep is extremely important for the recovery of mental disorders, and TAG is no exception to this rule. This is because sleep deprivation has several consequences. Among them, an electrochemical imbalance that can help in the development of anxiety disorders.

So, you need to sleep about 8 hours a night. During this time, the brain goes through processes of memory consolidation and rebalancing of neurotransmitters, which is crucial for an improvement in the symptoms of generalized anxiety.

Prognosis

It is difficult to trace a prognosis for generalized anxiety disorder, since the course of the disease varies greatly from person to person.

It is not uncommon for patients to have long periods of remission of symptoms, but for them to return at one time or another, for a variety of reasons.

However, most patients with GAD are able to lead a normal life, build a career, get married, have children, among others. TAG, in these cases, is just a daily obstacle, but it can be circumvented.

Complications

If left untreated, generalized anxiety disorder can bring several complications to the individual’s life. Understand:

Social problems

Socializing is already difficult. For those with TAG, then, this becomes an extremely complicated task.

The individual may have trouble making friends out of fear that something will happen, or even worrying too much about what people will think of him.

Social situations, such as parties, graduations, among others, are a real show of dread for a person with TAG. That’s because he starts to worry about the event weeks before the event.

It runs through your head the possibility of several things happening, such as having an accident or needing to care for someone in the hospital on the night of the event. In addition, he also worries about who will be at these events: if there are people that the individual admires, if there are potential sexual partners, among others.

All of this is a matter of constant concern for a person with GAD, and this can culminate in an unsatisfactory social performance.

Not infrequently, people also end up moving away from GAD patients, due to constant worries and stress.

Professional problems

Although it is necessary to be careful with the career, the exaggerated concern and the self-judgment of the patient with GAD can make him lose several opportunities.

If the boss calls the individual to talk, he already begins to think about how he will pay the bills thereafter because he is sure that he will be fired. He may even resign for fear of being fired, simply to feel that he is in control of the situation.

He may also miss opportunities to move up in his career because of concerns such as not being able to do new tasks when receiving a promotion, for example.

Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that is often accompanied by anxiety disorders. It is not clear whether it is anxiety that leads to depression or whether it is depression that leads to anxiety, but the two are closely linked.

Therefore, it is also believed that an untreated anxiety disorder increases the chances of developing depressive disorders.

Worsening anxiety and panic attacks

Leaving anxious symptoms without proper treatment can gradually worsen them. Thus, the individual becomes more and more anxious, and may even develop panic attacks. However, proper treatment prevents things from reaching that point.

How to prevent TAG?

There is no real way to prevent generalized anxiety disorder, since its causes are not known for sure. However, it is recommended to avoid the use of recreational drugs, as they tend to increase the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco

Although they are two drugs that, at first, relax the body, in the end they only make the individual’s condition worse.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it really helps to deal with anxiety momentarily. However, the brain gets used to the effects of alcohol and tries to compensate by creating more excitatory synapses which, in turn, result in accelerated brain activity, even triggering anxious symptoms.

Tobacco, on the other hand, acts in a slightly different way. During smoking, he seems to relax his body. However, nicotine is a stimulant drug that makes the brain more active, which serves as a trigger for anxious symptoms. If you smoke, a good idea would be to quit. Find out how in our article on smoking .


Excessive worry should not be part of anyone’s life. If you feel like you’ve been worrying too much about things, it’s time to see a mental health professional for a correct diagnosis and help.

What about you, suffer from generalized anxiety disorder? Tell us how you deal with it in the comments, so you can help a lot of other people!

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