Undestanding Anxiety, The Basics

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Symptoms

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary. They may include:

  • Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
  • Worrying about excessively worrying
  • Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
  • Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

Physical signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy
  • Being easily startled
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches

There may be times when your worries don’t completely consume you, but you still feel anxious even when there’s no apparent reason. For example, you may feel intense worry about your safety or that of your loved ones, or you may have a general sense that something bad is about to happen.

Your anxiety, worry or physical symptoms cause you significant distress in social, work or other areas of your life. Worries can shift from one concern to another and may change with time and age.

Complications

Having generalized anxiety disorder does more than just make you worry. It can:

  • Impair your ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently because you have trouble concentrating
  • Take your time and focus from other activities
  • Sap your energy
  • Disturb your sleep

Generalized anxiety disorder can also lead to or worsen other mental and physical health conditions, such as:

  • Depression (which often occurs with generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Substance abuse
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Digestive or bowel problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart-health issues

Source: Mayo Clinic

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