Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition that affects many people in the UK,  and causes people to have persistent anxiety on a daily basis.

This can range from low-level generalised anxiety disorder to more pronounced daily anxiety.

The key treatment for generalised anxiety disorder is counselling, particularly using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which challenges the habits in thinking which promote generalised anxiety disorder, and also counters the ingrained behaviours which contribute to GAD.

At Stockport Counselling Services, we specialise in the use of CBT and counselling in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder, and have an admirable track record in changing GAD sufferers lives for the better.

If you want to find out if you suffer from generalised anxiety disorder or are already seeking treatment for GAD, call Stockport Counselling Services now on 07825 599794

There is no charge for a confidential chat with a counsellor by phone, nor for your initial consultation, so you can see how we can help with generalised anxiety disorder at no cost to you.

Before looking at generalised anxiety disorder specifically, it is worthwhile to define anxiety generally, as people with GAD suffers the same symptoms to varying degrees.

What is Anxiety?

Pronounced anxiety causes pronounced physical symptoms.

These range from palpitations, sweaty palms, quick shallow breathing, feeling nauseous, shaking, dry mouth to headaches, and chest pains.

The way we think produces these symptoms, sending messages to the heart, lungs and other body parts, although situations can almost instantly help generate these symptoms.

Anxiety causes adrenaline to be released – the fight/flight syndrome – which speeds up reactions.

While this was once a useful part of the human mechanism for survival, and can still be positive stress in other situations, anxiety sees the same symptoms developing in outwardly, non-threatening situations causing extreme discomfort for the sufferer.

What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Generalised anxiety disorder as the name suggests is when feeling of anxietys become commonplace and part of someone’s life.

Usually, a sufferer will have experienced symptoms of anxiety to a minor or major level over a long period of time.

It can become habitual and be dismissed as moaning about work or relationships, and therefore be hard to recognise the pattern that is underlying responses in everyday life.

But, there are numerous ways to distinguish generalised anxiety disorder from occasional stress.

Someone with GAD will tend to have some fearful feelings or thoughts and be worried on most days.

And, rather than being about major incidents, often trivial incidents such as going somewhere or conversations with people can heighten this worry or fearfulness.

The level of this generalised anxiety disorder can be low-level or high-level with stress and worry not being too bad for often long periods but then can flare-up and become more pronounced.

While some people can pinpoint when why their anxiety has become more pronounced, such as a problem at work or with a relationship, other people may find it hard to see any cause at all.

The key difference between generalised anxiety disorder and outbreaks of anxiety as reaction to an event is that GAD will often cause daily distress and have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent restlessness
  • Persistent irritability
  • Constant fatigue
  • Sleep problems, usually in getting off to sleep
  • Muscle tension, or regular aches and pain

If you only have anxiety about one certain thing, such as public speaking, then you don’t have generalised anxiety disorder.

If you regularly can’t get to sleep, and worry about many things, it is more likely you have generalised anxiety disorder.

And, you certainly aren’t alone if you think you suffer from GAD. As many as 1 in 50 people suffer from generalised anxiety disorder at some point in their life.

What Causes Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

The hardest thing for any GAD sufferer to do, but also ultimately the most helpful thing, is to recognise that they suffer from generalised anxiety disorder in the first place and do not have some undiagnosed physical ailment or are simply a ‘moaner or whinger’.

Once someone acknowledges they have generalised anxiety disorder, they will often engage on a fruitless search as to why they have it.

But, the truth is that there’s no one known cause. Among the factors which may cause someone to have GAD is:-

  • Genetics: it could be related to the ‘way we are wired’ and may be more likely if a parent or grandparent has also had an anxious personality. Unless, you have an identical twin, genes are not replicated exactly among siblings, so it’s possible for only one of a number of children to have an anxious personality
  • Our experiences when we are young may also lead to susceptibility towards generalised anxiety disorder. This can be any traumatic episode such as the loss of a loved one or treatment by other people be they peers or parents.
  • GAD can be related to other mental health problems such as depression or schizophrenia

Do You Suffer From Generalised Anxiety Disorder ?

As mentioned before, the hallmarks are persistent feelings of anxiety which are often not related to the daily experiences.

Anyone with feelings or anxious thoughts for at least six months, could be classed as suffering from GAD.

Don’t worry if you are confused about whether you have generalised anxiety disorder, or are depressed, or have a different form of anxiety.

Stockport Counselling Services will be able to help in diagnosing your problem and providing the right treatment for that problem.

And, it is hugely worthwhile for someone’s quality of life to make the effort to get help. Without treatment, generalised anxiety disorder can persist throughout someone’s life.

It can be manageable for certain, stable periods, but sufferers of GAD find flare-ups often hard to cope with when there are profound life-stresses such as the break up of a relationship or loss of job.

Treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Stockport Counselling Services are adept in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder.

But there is no quick cure to something that has been persistent often for many years, which is why it is vital to start counselling with us as soon as possible.

We offer what has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment of generalised anxiety disorder – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

At Stockport Counselling Services, we will look at the types of thinking which can help trigger the day-today anxieties experienced by someone with generalised anxiety disorder.

Once , we identify these harmful thoughts, we will work with you to challenge and change the way you think.

Similarly, we will scrutinise behaviours which may contribute to the maintenance of your anxiety and again work to challenge and modify these behaviours.

Stockport Counselling Services can make a major difference to the life of someone with generalised anxiety disorder in a relatively short space of time.

Although the length of counselling required will vary with the degree of someone’s GAD.

Take your first step towards leading an improved, happier life and beating generalised anxiety disorder by calling Stockport Counselling Services now 0161 285 1925.