During Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 we have produced a series of blogs which highlight the increase in mental health disorders and the impact this has on physical wellbeing. A key point to remember is that maintaining good mental health is as important as maintaining good physical health. Our first blog will examine generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
One in four people will experience a mental health difficulty in their lives and generalised anxiety disorder is the most common of the anxiety disorders. Symptoms of GAD include excessive worrying and anxiety that is difficult to control, fatigue, restlessness, sleep disturbance, tension in the muscles and decreased concentration.
Diagnosing GAD involves monitoring the above symptoms over a period of at least six months. People who suffer with GAD are unable to stop or control the cycle of worry. They feel anxious and fretful when confronted with specific circumstances or when anticipating certain events which in themselves do not warrant any real concern. Anxiety also causes individuals to worry even when there is no genuine cause for concern.
For a sufferer of generalised anxiety disorder, simply getting through the day can cause anxiety. It is common for GAD sufferers to experience other anxiety disorders such as substance abuse, OCD, depression and panic disorder.
It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety at some point in our lives. However, people with GAD experience anxiety on an exaggerated level, so much so that it impacts negatively and significantly on their day to day lives. But the good news is that there is help for those who suffer from extreme anxiety. No one should suffer in silence.
If you display some of the signs of GAD, it is important to talk to someone you trust. There are many treatments available such as CBT or anxiety therapy. Confiding in your GP is vital as you may require medication to stabilise the anxiety attacks. Mindfulness and meditation are popular therapies which might help alleviate the symptoms. Exercise is also an excellent alternative method which can be used for many mental health disorders and has been proven to greatly improve mental health.
Taking care of our mental health is vital because it plays a major role in our ability to maintain good physical health. Thankfully people who experience mental health issues can overcome them with the right help and support.