Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

What is GAD?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD, is a chronic mental health condition characterized by excessive, persistent, and uncontrollable worry about everyday life events and activities. The focus of the fear in other disorders like, OCD or phobias, is more specific however people with GAD often describe themselves as “worry warts” and worry about “everything.” At OCD Spectrum, we understand the differences and we are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help you overcome this disorder of excessive worrying.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Recognizing the symptoms of GAD is an important first step for seeking appropriate support. Our therapists are well-versed in identifying and addressing these symptoms. Some common manifestations of GAD include:

  1. Excessive Worry: Individuals with GAD experience intrusive and overwhelming worry about everyday situations, which are very often disproportionate to the actual threat.
  2. Restlessness and Irritability: People struggling with GAD often describe a sense of restlessness and irritability in their daily lives.
  3. Physical Symptoms: GAD normally includes symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal distress. 
  4. Sleep Disturbances: Our therapists assist in developing effective strategies to improve sleep quality and manage racing thoughts.
  5. Difficulty Concentrating: People with GAD usually experience difficulty concentrating which can negatively affect their ability to do their job or complete other tasks.
  6. Catastrophic Thinking: Individuals with GAD tend to anticipate and expect the worst outcomes. This leads to increasing levels of anxiety and often sadness.

Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Our therapists at OCD Spectrum are proud to offer specialized evidence-based treatment options that have proven effectiveness in managing and alleviating the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Our therapists employ CBT, a gold-standard treatment for GAD, to help you identify and challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to excessive worry. Through CBT, you will develop healthier perspectives and coping strategies to manage anxiety effectively (Hunot et al., 2015).
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): At OCD Spectrum, our therapists utilize ACT, a mindfulness-based approach that emphasizes accepting anxious thoughts and feelings without trying to eliminate them. Through ACT, you will learn to align your actions with personal values, leading to increased psychological flexibility and reduced anxiety (Powers et al., 2018).
  3. Medication: Our therapists collaborate with medical professionals when appropriate, ensuring comprehensive care for GAD. Medications such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may be prescribed to complement therapy and help alleviate symptoms (Baldwin et al., 2014).