Youth Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects about 5% of the population. The symptoms of GAD can start at a relatively early age, with one third of people with GAD experiencing symptoms in childhood or adolescence. GAD can last for many years, but may not have big impact on someone's ability to function in daily life. This is why GAD often remains undetected.

The main feature of GAD is excessive anxiety and worry, occurring more than 3 days each week for at least six months. People with GAD worry about a number of events or activities such as sporting performance or study, health, or family issues. The worries are often about a variety of minor issues and events that are unlikely to occur. Realistic anxiety, such as concerns about passing your VCE exams are not signs of GAD. However, consistent, excessive worry about certain events that are unlikely to occur is cause for concern. The person finds it extremely difficult to control the worry. Generally, the worries are future oriented, that is, about what might happen, rather than what is happening. Being uanble to accept uncertainty about the future is common in people with GAD.

The anxiety and worry in GAD is accompanied by other physical and emotional symptoms such as: restlessness or feeling on edge; being easily fatigued; difficulty in concentrating or mind going blank; irritability; muscle tension; shallow, uneven breathing; and sleep disturbance. Other symptoms include an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, feeling nauseous or sick, trembling and shaking and feeling as though you are going crazy and losing control. In some cases, people deal with the excessive, constant anxiety through the over use of alcohol, recreational or non-prescription drugs.

Deep breathing exercises can be very helpful for people with GAD.

Click on this link to learn how you can use deep breathing.