Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults in the United States alone, about 18 percent of the population. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about generalized anxiety disorder in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Everyone worries and has fears in appropriate situations. When anxiety happens over otherwise common things or events, is difficult for the individual to control, is excessive and lasts at least six months, this is called generalized anxiety disorder.

Along with the other types of anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder is fairly common. Unlike the separate episodes of severe panic anxiety that occur in panic disorder, the level of anxiety fluctuates gradually in persons who have generalized anxiety disorder.

Symptoms may include fast or irregular heartbeat, headaches, difficulty sleeping and edginess or irritability.

Treatment usually has several approaches, combining some type of therapy with medication to help reduce the feelings and symptoms of anxiety.

Cognitive behavior therapy helps persons find ways of coping with their feelings and learn new methods to deal with the situations that make them anxious.

Relaxation techniques are often helpful and can include meditation, yoga and biofeedback.

Medications may include one or more types of anti-anxiety medicines, many of which are also used to treat depression and other mental illnesses.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.