General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

General Anxiety Disorder GAD is the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder. It is a condition characterized by “free floating” anxiety or apprehension not linked to a specific cause or situation.

As I’ve mentioned before, some degree of fear and anxiety is normal. In the face of real danger, fear makes us more alert and also prepares our body to fight or flee. For example if you must pass an exam or have an important surgical operation, it is normal to feel the effects of this “free floating” anxiety. And as soon as the event is over, so is the anxiety.

However, some people become anxious even when there is no identifiable cause. They feel overwhelmed and suffer recurrent episodes of anxiety that can last days, weeks, or even months.

People that suffer this type of anxiety are always vigilant and on alert about their surroundings. They are always on look out for possible danger. An anxious person in this category cannot sit calmly, is fidgety, hyperventilates, toys with objects, their own hair, or bites their finger nails.

They worry a lot about their health, families and work. Some become so worried about their own health that they pursue second opinions from doctors to reassure themselves that they is nothing wrong with their physical health. However reassurances from health professionals do not calm their worries. They doubt that maybe the doctors haven’t found the evidence about their disease. Therefore a generalized anxiety can lead to hypochondria.