Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorder each year, resulting in feelings of apprehension and insecurity (Kessler et al. , 2005). Anxiety disorder is different from the short-term anxiety that is experienced after a traumatic event because anxiety disorders last more the six months and may have the possibility of to worsen if not given any medical attention.
Anxiety disorders often occur at the same time with other disorders such as alcohol or drug addiction hence it is important that the entire condition of a patient be determined before designing a treatment regime (Kushner et al. , 1990). One type anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) which is typified by extreme unmanageable and often illogical apprehension over daily events that are not required to be dealt with in such a huge concern.
This condition of worrying generally affects the normal activities of an individual because the disorder makes them feel that terrible things will happen any time. The individual suffering from GAD thus feels that he is compelled to always be alarmed about personal issues such as health, finances, trouble in the family or problems at work. These individuals may physically present a number of symptoms such as the feeling of fatigue everyday and stress-induced headaches. There is excessive tension is observed in their muscle hence resulting in muscle aches and pains.
The anxiety disorder also creates a gagging effect in the individual due to the frequent stimulation of the central nervous system, resulting in the frequent and difficult swallowing. The individual suffering from GAD also shows trembling and twitching in his body, as well as excessive sweating and irritability. Physicians would employ the existence of these physical symptoms for six months or more as one of the main criteria in the formal diagnosis of GAD. It has been estimated that there are twice as many males patients suffering from GAD than female patients.
The other criteria used in the diagnosis for GAD are derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). Aside from the main criteria of excessive concern and worry over several issues for more than six months, another criteria is the condition that the individual finds it hard to control the amount of worrying he is feeling over a particular issue. To make things worse, the individual worries excessively that he could not focus on his work or studies any longer because he finds difficulty in accepting any other things in his mind.
Hence an impairment of the normal activities of the individual are affected, including his social activities with his partner, relatives, friends and co-workers. It should be noted that GAD is not due to the intake of any medication or is not caused by a separate medical condition. An individual suffering from GAD often spends the entire day worrying about issues and he is mostly tense even in the absence of any stimuli that will threaten his security and stability (Hyman and Rudorfer, 2000).
This particular type of individual thinks that a disaster is about to happen hence he is always making sure that all important matters are already in place. In some cases of GAD, the individual finds it difficult to survive each day. A person with GAD does not have the capacity to relax and to forget about his problems, even if they do not actually exist or the problems have not actually unfolded. The individual’s agitation gets worse when he loses the ability to sleep because his nights are also filled with anxiety and worry.