Anxiety is more common than you think. Forty million Americans or 18% of our population lives with an Anxiety Disorder. You may be experiencing it and not even realize it. People living with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) live with excessive anxiety and worry, and a recent survey from the American Psychological Association reveals that things seem to be getting worse. In an era with 24/7 news (that’s usually negative), constant communication, and the typical on-demand, fast-paced lifestyle, it’s no wonder so many people are living with anxiety.
Excessive stress and worry – often about health, family, money, or work – can go on all day, every day for some of us. It can interfere with work, school, or important responsibilities. GAD is diagnosed in adults when they experience at least three of the symptoms below on more days than not for at least six months; only one symptom is required in children.
Symptoms of GAD:
- restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- being easily fatigued
- difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- muscle tension
- sleep problems
This list is not exhaustive and GAD can cause many other symptoms. A full list, and information on other related disorders, can be found on the National Institute of Mental Health website. If you are experiencing symptoms, please talk to a healthcare provider. It can be treated. Consider some lifestyle changes as well. Excessive stress can make symptoms worse, but there are ways to regain some control to manage anxiety.