You’ve got a huge presentation in front of all your colleagues, you’re nervous, you’ve got quite a bit of stress leading up to the presentation. That stress is completely normal and really probably useful in certain situations since it can make you more alert and careful, after the presentation is over you feel the stress start to fade away right, well for three percent of the population, the stress doesn’t go away and maybe that stress isn’t even brought on by a specific event and it’s always just sort of there, either way at this point it’s considered to be anxiety. That anxiety might get worse over time and cost things like chest pains or nightmares, sometimes the anxiety is so severe that it causes someone to be anxious about leaving the house or doing everyday things like going to work or school, this anxiety might be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder sometimes shortened to GADs characterized by excessive persistent and unreasonable anxiety about everyday things like money, family, work and relationships, even sometimes the thought of getting through the day causes anxiety, if the anxiety is persistent then it doesn’t seem to go away, if it’s excessive it’s usually more than someone else might feel and if it’s unreasonable, they probably shouldn’t have a reason to feel anxious about it, people who have GAD might even understand that their anxieties are excessive and unreasonable but they feel it’s out of their control and don’t quite know how to stop it, people with severe GAD might be completely debilitated and have trouble with the simplest daily activities or they might be only mildly effective and might be able to function socially and hold down a job.
Sometimes the feelings might worsen or improve over time in addition to having feelings of worries and anxiety. Other symptoms include edginess and restlessness, difficulty concentrating or feeling like the mind just goes blank and also irritability and these psychological symptoms can also lead to physical manifestations of symptoms like digestive problems from eating more or eating less, they might also have muscle aches and soreness from carrying tension in their muscles, finally difficulty sleeping is a really common symptom that can have a serious impact on physical well-being since the body’s not well rested and this can lead to issues of chronic fatigue, although the decision that someone’s worry is excessive and unreasonable has a subjective quality. Diagnosing GAD is aided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the dsm-5, this manual gives a list of criteria to meet in order to be diagnosed to GAD. Firstly, the excessive worry and anxiety has to have been present for more days than not over the course of six months, in other words a person should have the symptoms of excess or unreasonable worry on 90 or more days out of 180 days, generally people can’t quantify or track their feelings in that way so again this is meant to offer a general guideline. Secondly, the person finds it hard to control their anxiety meaning that they have a hard time calming themselves or self soothing to help themselves regain control over their feelings.