Have you recently been diagnosed with GAD or generalized anxiety disorder? If so, it can seem like it quickly can take over your life. Stress and anxiety plague people who have GAD and can leave them limited to things that they do in their daily activities. While everyday tasks may seem daunting when you have GAD, there is help available. Here are some suggestions that may be able to help you cope with the symptoms.
Avoiding Stressful Situations
While it may seem contradictory for someone who has anxiety almost all of the time to avoid stressful situations, it can really help with controlling new symptoms or making existing ones worse. Generalized anxiety disorder has an array of symptoms, including:
- Unexplained intense fear and anxiety
- Extreme tiredness and lethargy
- Inability to fall asleep or sleeping too much
- Over analyzing thoughts
- Intense, excessive sweating
- Headache and body aches
- Increased heart rate or irregular heart beat
Avoiding triggers is important if you have severe panic attacks. For example, avoiding making a public speech or driving over a bridge at night. But in order to truly get past what triggers your anxiety, you must desensitize yourself. Keep in mind that until you get treatment, putting yourself in a stressful situation may exasperate the situation.
Getting on the Right Prescription Medication
One part of the treatment plan for long-term stress and anxiety disorder is to get on an effective prescription regimen. This starts with discussing your symptoms with your doctor. From there, he may run certain diagnostic tests to rule out any major medical issues. This may include a CBC (complete blood count) as well as a basic metabolic panel. From there, he may check your thyroid or do other psychological tests to pinpoint your diagnosis. From there, you will be started on a low dose of medications to determine what is effective at treating your symptoms. It may take a while to get the dosage adjusted and in that time frame your anxiety may spike rather than calm down. If you tend to sweat a lot, stay hydrated, use antiperspirants and layer your clothing to prevent your body temperature from getting too high.
Seeking Reputable Counseling
Stress can overtake your life easily and make it hard to get through the most menial of tasks. That’s why it’s important to reach out to the pros for support. This starts with meeting with a psychologist or counselor who can help you with your GAD. A professional who specializes in GAD and other anxiety disorders will be able to easily understand your triggers and be able to advise you on how to deal with the symptoms as you begin to feel them. Your psychologist may also recommend exposure therapy, especially if you have a specific fear that makes your panic attacks worse and your stress levels high. This should be done with supervision so that your psychologist can help you with the desensitizing process and walk you through the symptoms to help you get through the session.
It’s important that as you work through controlling and managing your symptoms that you have someone that supports you through the recovery and management process. If your panic attacks are extreme, you may be able to get them under control through therapy, but you cant be around individuals who won’t support you or ridicule you for your symptoms. Finding a support group in your area is a good place to start. This can be helpful as you learn that others share the same condition as you and in some cases, may deal with more substantial symptoms and issues in relation to their fear and anxiety condition. Reaching out is also a good way to make new friends who share the same interests and will help you reach your goal of living with a manageable anxiety condition.
Stress occurs in everyday life. Whether it’s worrying about a paying off a debt, a loved one or just stressing out about the weather, if you have GAD, your anxiety can be hard to control. By implementing a few techniques and seeking outside professional help, you can be well on your way to controlling your stress and getting a better handle on your daily quality of life.