Anxiety is defined by specific thoughts, physical arousal and behavior. Everyone is familiar with anxiety but it can become pathological when the anxiety is very intense and longer present then you would expect or when anxiety is present without any stimulus. An anxiety disorders is a form of pathological anxiety. Anxiety disorders can be classified using the DSM-IV into 11 different diagnosis. One of them is the generalized anxiety disorder. This article will give you information about the symptoms of generalized anxiety.
The most important symptom of generalized anxiety is the continues presence of fear and physical arousal without a defined stimulus. That means without a real threat. The symptoms of generalized anxiety are daily and include being nervous, restless and stressed. The anxiety can be accompanied by a variety of physical symptoms like dizziness, palpitations, blurry vision, dry mouth, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, shaking hands, sweating and unsteadiness or ‘weak legs’. As a result of these symptoms, patients can be agitated and vigilant and have difficulties concentrating. Due to the physical arousal and worries there is often insomnia.
Patients with generalized anxiety will worry about bad things that might happen to them in the future, without any reason. Often they worry about daily things which are irrational for other people. For example they might worry about losing their job while their boss just told him he is totally satisfied. Another example is the constant fear that one of their family members might be involved in an accident. Or that they will get into debt while their financial situation is perfect. To avoid situations which will induce worries, they will call for instance their husband over and over again to check if he is safe. Or they call their children to check at what time they are planning to come home. Often patients suffering generalized anxiety catastrophise, when they hear an ambulance they assume it will be one of their family members. Or when the telephone rings, they know for sure that someone calling them to tell someone died.
To be classified as an anxiety disorder, the symptoms of generalized anxiety have to restrict you in daily functioning. Thereby they have to be present for over 6 months. An important differentiation with panic attacks is that the anxiety is constant and more present than absent. Anxiety disorders in general are more commonly seen by woman and can start at any age. Because generalized anxiety is a chronic illness with a substantial impact on your life, it is wisely to search professional help if you recognize symptoms mentioned in this article about the symptoms of generalized anxiety.