GAD = Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Repost: I originally did this piece in 2019 – Its a good resource and general information for General Anxiety Disorder. Thanks for supporting my blog, enjoy todays post.

Let me start this post off with a link to a great resource the Anxiety and Depression Association of America . This site has excellent information for anyone who thinks they have an anxiety disorder or knows they do and you just need more information. This website has a lot of information and resources and can assist with a multitude of issues. I strongly recommend taking a look at the site and the reference material it offers.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is essentially a catch all for nonspecific anxiety triggers most of us call them phobias. “GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms” . When I read this I realized that at several points in my life this applied to me. GAD isn’t a constant condition it can come and go but I’ve found in my travels that more often than not it is always present just to varying degrees.

“GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.”

I thought this excerpt from the site was particularly potent. 6.8 million adults… Ya we aren’t alone. I found it very interesting that they claim women are twice as likely to be affected. I can logically extrapolate some instances why, pregnancy, physical appearance and family pressures come to mind. The worse part though is the multitude of factors and the lack of specificity as to why this occurs.

Essentially anything can trigger this, maybe you went to a concert Saturday and your ears were ringing when you got up the next day “am I going to go deaf?” you ask yourself. A common seemingly sterile situation right? So the next time you don’t hear something correctly are you now delving back into anxiety? Technically yes, again its degree’s but you are anxious about a future outcome based on an example of the past. You can’t absolutely say that your past experience will be identical to your future outcome but it’s your best gauge.

Then you begin to think “god if I just didn’t go to that concert I wouldn’t have this issue” and on and on it goes. That’s just one very simple example but it’s a prelude to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There is no definitive moment as to when it begins for anyone, but when you are “in the moments” of anxiety you know it. The sensations are unique to everyone but if you’ve had panic attacks you know the gambit it can run. You can be highly functional and then for days struggle to get out of bed because you can’t overcome the anxiety.

Then, one day you feel good. Not perfect, not “wow that was silly I am free and clear” but the fog clears for you and you go on without worrying about it at all. This is GAD and it can flip day to day, week to week for your entire life. Knowledge is power and remember you aren’t alone.

How to move mountains

Anyone can have anxiety, ANYONE

So, a disclaimer I am not a celebrity worshipper. I think its fine to admire actors or sports stars and to seek their opinions on popular subjects, I just don’t do it. I think their life experience is vastly different then mine, I really can’t relate to them. I look to them to entertain me, to bring to life characters that allow me to immerse myself into their work.

Anxiety really knows no bounds. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, gender it can strike anyone. Yes, even celebrities. Actor Stephen Amell was recently afflicted with a “panic attack”, which as many of us who have anxiety know it’s the manifestation of accumulated anxiety. Who is Stephen Amell? He is the actor who plays Oliver Queen, the green arrow.

He had a panic attack, you can read about it here

From the article: “Amell had wrapped his eighth and final season on the CW superhero series, only a couple of weeks before, and he was open about how tired he felt. “I just feel like I’ve been trying to do things for people for the past eight years, and I just need a f***ing break,” Amell told Smallville star-turned-podcaster Michael Rosenbaum. “I wanna be a dad. I wanna be a husband. I don’t even really want to talk to my friends that much. I just need a break, and I cried about it twice today.”

Now I’m not sure what the depths of his despair actually is but this was a semi-public melt down he was on a pod cast. This next point may seem very morbid but for the rest of us this is actually good news. It puts a spotlight on anxiety, and it makes it more main stream when successful actors put a face to it.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not happy this happened to him, and I hope he gets help ASAP. I am happy that more stories about anxiety are getting traction in the main stream. It affects so many people all over the world that press like this can only help to illuminate as long-time quiet condition. It is becoming more acceptable to be upfront about anxiety, it doesn’t have to be a crippling silent condition where you suffer alone in your room.

Your anxiety is different then mine, and your journey through it is going to be very personal and unique to you. That said, remember you aren’t alone. Anxiety touches millions of people all across the globe. You are not alone.