Generalized Anxiety Disorder

psyche-thumbMany are suffering from various mental maladies but they may be too ashamed to seek for professional help for fear of being labelled as “naboangna”. This fear of stigmatization at times makes treatment ineffective and problematic.

Many people go to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist only when the distress or dysfunction that the mental illness brings is already unbearable and deeply rooted. Hence, it already weakens the person and decreases his ability to respond effectively in therapy.

Take for instance anxiety. As far as I am concerned, most of those who come to me for treatment are suffering from various symptoms of anxiety disorder. But generally, their problem starts as a simple apprehension of something but they disregard it until it becomes a full-blown anxiety problem.

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I had a client last week who cannot just stop himself from worrying about his family, his schooling, and generally his future. He is a worry wart. And this is affecting his functioning in several areas of his life.

Let us look closely on anxiety and its problems. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Many of us often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test or interview.

But these feelings are justified and considered normal. But it becomes abnormal when these feelings already interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, to eat, and generally function effectively. In other words, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.

There are several specific types of anxiety disorder. Let us take up first Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD.

GAD is another term for the chronic worrier. While we normally experience worry about things to come, this does not interfere with our daily functioning and affect our general health. But for someone with GAD, worrying becomes intrusive, persistent, excessive, and debilitating.

Someone with GAD just worries about anything: health issues, money, family problems, or work difficulties. A simple cold becomes a sign of an impending major illness. An unanswered phone call or text is taken as an indication that the relationship might be in trouble. And so on and forth.

With GAD, the worrying becomes uncontrollable and it significantly disrupts jobs or family life. The worrier cannot help himself be anxious just about anything and even expect the worst to happen. And this can happeneveryday for the past six months. Such is the problem with someone who has Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

But with therapy, GAD can be treated. But that will be for our next issue. For now, let us check if our worries are still within bounds or have already consumed most of our waking and even sleeping hours. Perhaps it is time to pay our doctors a visit so we are given the appropriate help. (By Kit Nemenzo Balane)

P.S.  Learn to manage your worries. For appointments, you can contact me at 09122506898 or email kitbalane@boholchild.com.



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