Generalised Anxiety Disorder help in Sheffield

Do you have a sense of dread and foreboding about future circumstances?

The great news for many people is that it can be tackled, reduced and sometimes removed.

Anxiety related issues are very common and one of the most frequently diagnosed is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). You will find information on this page about what GAD is and how you could tackle it.

What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Anxiety is a very common problem that thousands of people in Sheffield, and around the UK, have to deal with. One type of anxiety is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

A person who has been experiencing Generalised Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, often has extreme and exaggerated levels of worry that affect them on a daily basis. The symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder can happen in different places at different times which makes planning ahead in life difficult.

People with GAD tend to have uncontrolled thoughts that are disproportionate to the actual risk. They frequently focus on catastrophic possibilities rather than more likely possibilities.

It boils down to the attitude of “anything that can go wrong it will...spectacularly!” The issues that are the focus of this worry are many and numerous. Any and all aspects of life can be part of having GAD.

This level of anxiety becomes so practised and familiar it gets in the way of living life normally. The idea of controlling the feelings of anxiety seems so foreign and impossible. This means that the anxiety just continues to build and build.

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Hypnotherapy for Generalised Anxiety Disorder

If you are looking for help in tackling GAD then hypnotherapy could be the ideal tool for you. It is medication-free, natural, designed to be a brief therapy and could lead to dramatic results. There is more information below on hypnotherapy for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. If you would like to discuss your goals you can call now on 01143830123 or request a call back at a time that suits you.

What are the causes of Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

This is a question that research is still struggling to answer. The general con consensus is that it is a combination of several factors that causes GAD but that these factors can differ between individuals.

Research has found that the following elements play a role in the potential development of GAD:

  • Genetics: You are up to five times more likely to develop GAD if you have a family member who has it
  • History: You are more likely to develop GAD if you have experienced a significant stress or trauma
  • Health: Long term health problems like chronic fatigue syndrome increase the chances of developing GAD
  • Drugs: If you have a history of drug abuse GAD is more likely to develop
  • Brain: Overactivity of certain brain areas and an imbalance in brain chemistry increases the possibility of GAD

These are just some of the contributory factors to the development of Generalised Anxiety Disorder. That being said some people develop the condition for no reason with seemingly none of the triggers above.

This lack of clarity about the cause of GAD can sometimes contribute to the anxiety and make it worse.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is quite common

I know it might feel like it is only you going through anxiety but it is actually a surprisingly common condition. 4% of the population in the UK have Generalised Anxiety Disorder which equals about 2.6 million people. It affects more women than men and more often people who are in their mid 30's to mid 50's.

Are there tests for Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Yes, there are tests online for generalised anxiety disorder. This online GAD test from Patient Info is quick and easy. It could give you a good starting point to begin to look in more depth at your symptoms and goals.

This quick test has just seven multiple choice questions about how anxious you feel and when. It is a quick way of getting an idea if anxiety is an issue that might need looking at in more detail.

What are the symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

There is a wide range of symptoms that people who have had Generalised Anxiety Disorder have reported. They can be physical and mental.

Physical symptoms of GAD can include:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Digestive problems like IBS

Mental symptoms of GAD can include:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Uncontrolled thoughts
  • A sense of dread
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Intrusive thoughts

If you have any of these symptoms do consult your GP.

The consequences of these symptoms can be minimal or severe, it depends on the individual, their severity of symptoms and their lifestyle. For some people with GAD, it makes things like holding down a job very challenging. With so many things going on, physically and emotionally, it can seem that as soon as one element is improved something else gets worse.

Even when the anxiety lifts and things get easier thoughts often turn to the future and the individual might find themselves imagining how bad their symptoms will be the next day. As a result, even when things are easier there is no respite.

As a coping strategy, those with GAD often try to avoid triggering situations. If a person had an extreme anxiety moment in a supermarket, for example, they might avoid supermarkets from that point on. Over time this can lead to an increase in isolation which often makes symptoms worse.

The uncertainty about what could trigger the GAD and when can lead to further anxiety

What are the potential treatments for Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

GAD can be a draining condition to live with. It takes so much time and energy to deal with it.

There are several potential treatments for generalised anxiety disorder. The most common ones are:

  • Psychological therapies

  • Self-help

  • Medication

These are just possibilities. It is only through open mindedness, a willingness to try alternatives and discussing your individual situation with medical professionals that there is the chance of finding a way out of GAD.

Psychological therapies for Generalised Anxiety issues

Self-help for generalised anxiety disorder

There are LOTS of books out there in relation to anxiety. Some are amazingly good, others are not. Even if you get just one tip or idea from a book then you are in a stronger position than you were before you read that book.

There are online GAD focused programmes like this one from This Way Up

This generalised anxiety disorder app from Pacifica is also highly rated

This online CBT focused programmed from Serenity can be used to address Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Medication for anxiety

This solution is often quickly offered by most GPs following a diagnosis of GAD. It is often best to use medication as a last resort after other techniques and approaches have been explored. Unfortunately, medication is usually the first option that is explored.

There is a wide range of medication available for treating anxiety. They all have pros and cons and if medication is something you are happy to explore there could be improvements in your condition to be had. Medication once prescribed should be monitored to ensure that it is right for you.

Common medication prescribed for anxiety related issues are:

  • benzodiazepines
  • beta blockers
  • antidepressants

There are lots of different medications within these categories. They all have their own pros and cons, some more than others.

Before taking medication be sure to familiarise yourself with what the different types are. Find out about what the possible side effects and benefits are. A GP has a very small amount of time for each consultation they have. When you go into that chat with knowledge it will help you find the best result for you.

Tips for Dealing with anxiety

Self-care is an essential element of dealing with the symptoms of GAD. While it may not seem that it has much of a direct effect it can bring noticeable improvements.

Exercise for reducing GAD

The benefits of movement are well known. There can be mental and physical improvements. There can be a reduction in stress and tension due to exercise. Along with this comes the high that can come from exercise which can be great at counteracting the lows of anxiety.

Gentle exercise like yoga can be ideal for people with GAD, especially the relaxation element at the end of a yoga session.

No caffeine

It messes up sleep and speeds up your heart rate. Both are likely to impact on anxiety levels. Finding alternatives to caffeine is highly recommended.

Alcohol & tobacco

Tobacco is a stimulant. It accelerates heart rate and as heart palpitations can be a symptom of anxiety tobacco is likely to make anxiety symptoms worse. Alcohol is a depressant and this can combine with existing feelings of anxiety and amplify them. A reduction or removal of both caffeine and tobacco could improve the symptoms of GAD.