Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves excessive worry and anxiety despite our best efforts to control the thoughts and accompanying distress. People with GAD may experience restlessness, excessive fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and have problems sleeping–usually trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, or having unsatisfying and restless sleep. While most of us worry occasionally, people with GAD experience impairment in social, occupational, or other important life areas. For example, a person may worry so much about a work presentation that they are unable to concentrate on it, or may not sleep at all the night before, and do poorly as a result.
The most common thing I hear from people who suffer from GAD is, “I just can’t ever shut my brain off–I freak out about everything, and I can’t stop.” No matter how hard they try, people with GAD can’t simply “stop thinking about it,” as their well-intentioned friends and family may suggest. They can’t “just think about something else” or “put their minds on something happier.” They become more and more frustrated, and less and less productive.
If your mind is a never-ending machine or the “hamster wheel” described above, I encourage you to seek help. We have great tools that can help you increase peace and decrease worrying.