Video by Jenny, text by Dr. Carandang
Hi, it’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Nancy in Norcross, Georgia. Can stress cause generalized anxiety disorder?
We’ve all experienced anxiety which is normal, but an anxiety disorder is different because it can cause such overwhelming stress as to be debilitating. Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is when we worry excessively about every day events. There are different kinds of anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, specific phobia, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder include nausea, dizziness, muscle tension, palpitations, and feelings of panic and shortness of breath.
Can stress cause generalized anxiety disorder? Yes, stressors can trigger or exacerbate generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety comes about when we don’t have the resources within us to cope with the demands being made on us. Unemployment, financial pressures, aging, children, and relationship problems are just some of the stressors which triggers or exacerbates anxiety.
When stress is unrelenting, we can suffer with mental consequences such as depression and anxiety disorders, as well as with feelings of anger, lack of motivation, sleep problems, and concentration problems. GAD can interfere negatively with your life. You are in such a state of worry and nervousness that it dominates your thinking entirely, so that you can’t function properly at school or at work and your relationships start to suffer.
There are some treatments available which don’t require a prescription. Herbal remedies and dietary supplements have been found to be very helpful for anxiety. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation can be helpful to decrease anxiety.
A therapist can also be invaluable for advising and teaching you ways to deal with the fears and worries that you have so that you can feel strong and confident again.