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Generalized Anxiety Disorder
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition that causes you to feel worried or nervous for at least 6 months. The anxiety may be much more severe than the event causing it. You may not be able to do your daily activities because of the anxiety.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
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Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.
- Antidepressants relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Antianxiety medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves changing your emotions by changing your behavior. Your healthcare provider may recommend different kinds of CBT. A therapist may help you learn to handle thoughts that produce anxiety. Exposure or desensitization therapy helps you face a feared object, person, or situation.
- Relaxation therapy may be used to help you manage stress. Stress may increase symptoms of GAD. Relaxation therapy teaches you how to feel less physical and emotional stress. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and music are some forms of relaxation therapy.
Untreated, GAD may cause you to develop other problems, such as alcohol or drug abuse, or depression. GAD may cause problems with your mood, relationships, and work. You may have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.