What is general anxiety disorder? (GAD)?

A lot of people go through periods in their lives where they feel overwhelmed, stressed or nervous about new situations or an upcoming event such as an exam or a public speaking engagement. In these circumstances, stress can be useful in helping you perform at your best, while keeping you focussed and motivated. This type of stress is considered to be healthy and quite normal.

Feeling anxious and overly-stressed most of the time however, is usually associated with a condition called General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  A person suffering from GAD is constantly concerned about situations and events to the point where it interferes with the normal running of their lives.  Small issues that other people would take for granted such as meeting someone new, can be all-consuming for someone with GAD, causing them high levels of anxiety that impacts on their day to day interactions.

If you feel you may be suffering from GAD, seek professional help today.

What are the symptoms of GAD?

In order to be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, a person needs to experience a number of symptoms, continuously for over six months.

These include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Suffering from anxiety that interferes with socialising with friends and family members
  • Excessive worrying over issues to the extent that it interferes with everyday activities
  • Being on edge and not being able to relax
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Muscle tension that can’t be explained
  • Difficulty staying focussed
  • Suffering from mood swings and irritability
  • Experiencing extreme levels of stress surrounding events or activities

Physical health related issues such as chronic headaches and digestive orders are common in people with GAD, as are conditions such as social phobia and depression.

What are the signs and symptoms of GAD in children?

Children who suffer from GAD tend to be over-concerned about everything: from being on time, sporting or school related performance and events; to floods, fires, and other natural disasters.

The types of behaviour to keep a look out for in relation to GAD in children are:

  • Displaying perfectionist behaviour
  • Re-doing tasks and never being satisfied with their performance
  • The constant need for reassurance
  • Over-conforming behaviour
  • Always wanting to know what will happen if this or that happens.

If your child is displaying these types of symptoms on a regular basis, you should seek professional advice on the best form of treatment and support.

How common is general anxiety disorder?

Approximately one in seven Australians will experience various levels of anxiety each year – an estimated three per cent of those people will be diagnosed with GAD.  This condition can occur at any stage of life and affects more women than men. The majority of people with GAD are not able to identify the exact trigger of their anxiety and concerns but have enough awareness surrounding their state of mind, to understand that they worry more than most people.

What are the causes of general anxiety disorder?

The precise cause is not known at this time, but it is believed that a number of factors – which include a person’s brain chemistry, genetics and environmental stresses – contribute to the development of GAD:

  • Brain chemistry: GAD has been associated with abnormal functioning of certain nerve cell pathways that connect particular brain regions involved in the areas of thinking and emotion. These nerve cell connections depend on chemicals called neurotransmitters that transmit information from one nerve cell to the next. When these pathways connecting certain brain regions run inefficiently, it may result in mood and anxiety related issues.
  • Genetics: Some research indicates that family history can play a part in increasing the chances that a person will develop GAD. What this means is that the tendency to develop GAD may be passed on in families.
  • Environmental factors: Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, is likely to contribute to GAD. GAD also may become worse during periods of high stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, can also cause stress and further increase levels of anxiety.

How Can Brain Training Australia™ Help?

At Brain Training Australia™ we use Neurofeedback Brain Training to help our clients struggling with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Let us help you. Here is how to get started.

Your first step is to get in contact with us.

All new clients receive a free, complementary and no obligation 15-minute face-to-face Complementary Assessment with a dedicated member of our team. If you’re on the fence, wondering if Neurofeedback Brain Training is right for you, then this is a really good place to start.

If you are ready to get started then you can just book in your First Appointment and get started straight away.

The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.

We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.