What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder and How Is It Treated?

The pandemic period we are in on a global scale, especially the problems we experience in our geography, stressful life events and genetic tendencies from our ancestors can cause us to be depressed.

Based on this situation, this week I wanted to give you information about the “Pervasive Anxiety Disorder” disease, which is one of the most common psychopathologies in our society, in the classification of anxiety disorders.

In Generalized Anxiety Disorder;

Along with the feeling of distress for no reason, the individual perceives feelings of anxiety as if a disaster will happen or bad news.

This fear-like feeling is defined as anxiety.

Of course, these disturbing emotions can range from a mild degree of nervousness to severe panic.

In severe panic experiences, the person may feel that the rib cage will burst and the reason is not clear, although it is for a long time. This causes both pain and panic.

The patient experiences a general restlessness, anxiety and restlessness, and cannot stay still.

Deterioration occurs in interpersonal relationships.

In general, there is a chest tightness, a feeling of pressure on the chest, and the fear object is not clear.

While all these are happening, there is no problem in the mental abilities of the patient. He is intimidated by the situation he is in and may show some signs of forgetfulness.

The patient does not have a disturbance in thought, but the person has a fast-talking, worried image to get rid of the panic situation.

In the patient; Physiological symptoms such as increased blood pressure, dry mouth, acceleration of the heartbeat, tension in the muscles, stimulation of body hair, palpitations, dilation of the pupils, pale face, frequent need for toilet, oxygen starvation, vomiting, tingling in the limbs are seen.

Concerning the differentiation of these physiological symptoms from natural fear, Prof. Dr. Orhan Ozturk and Prof. Dr. Aylin Uluşahin; These are the symptoms related to the overactivity of the autonomic nervous system in the face of danger, which appear in the way the organism flees or prepares for fight in the face of immediate danger. However, in generalized anxiety, the person does not know what this danger is and where it comes from, and it is distinguished from the natural fear response with this feature.

The duration of the disease for diagnosis is controversial. Although it is stated in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic Criteria Reference Manual) that the above-mentioned general picture should be seen in a large part of the time in 6 months, exacerbation periods are more fluctuating in generalized anxiety disorder.

That is, patients experience episodes that get lighter, heavier, or go off from time to time.

It manifests itself when it is time to receive psychological support, deterioration in the psycho-social functionality of the individual and experiencing physiological problems.

It is important to start treatment at an early stage of the disease in order to prevent it from becoming chronic.

The most beneficial treatment method to be applied to a patient diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is psychotherapy + pharmacotherapy.

In other words, the psychotherapy process together with the use of medication allows the patient to quickly return to normal life functions.

According to field studies, the number of patients who show improvement with antidepressant use and cognitive behavioral therapy is high.

In addition, patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder are sensitive to drug side effects. Patients should be informed about side effects. Adding side effects to the stress caused by the troubles that have no cause can cause the patient to relapse into panic.

In short;

If you observe the symptoms I mentioned in yourself or your relatives, do not forget to consult the experts. Early treatment increases the likelihood of recovery.

I wish you a healthy and peaceful week…

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