LIFE FOR ME WITH GAD (GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER)
I'm Amber Malone a spoken word artist for mental health awareness.
This spoken word/poetry is about how I feel (MY lived experience and personal opinion) what life is like for me living with Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD is not the same for everyone.
I'm sharing my experience.
END the stigma.
Thank you for listening and sharing!
Amber Marie Malone
What is generalized anxiety disorder?
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Many people may worry about things such as health, money, or family problems. But people with GAD feel extremely worried or nervous more frequently about these and other things—even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. GAD usually involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread that interferes with how you live your life. It is not the same as occasionally worrying about things or experiencing anxiety due to stressful life events. People living with GAD experience frequent anxiety for months, if not years.
GAD develops slowly. It often starts around age 30, although it can occur in childhood. The disorder is more common in women than in men.
What are the signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder?
People with GAD may:
- Worry excessively about everyday things
- Have trouble controlling their worries or feelings of nervousness
- Know that they worry much more than they should
- Feel restless and have trouble relaxing
- Have a hard time concentrating
- Startle easily
- Have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Tire easily or feel tired all the time
- Have headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
- Have a hard time swallowing
- Tremble or twitch
- Feel irritable or "on edge"
- Sweat a lot, feel lightheaded, or feel out of breath
- Have to go to the bathroom frequently
Children and teens with GAD often worry excessively about:
- Their performance in activities such as school or sports
- Catastrophes, such as earthquakes or war
- The health of others, such as family members
Adults with GAD are often highly nervous about everyday circumstances, such as:
- Job security or performance
- The health and well-being of their children or other family members
- Being late
- Completing household chores and other responsibilities
Both children and adults with GAD may experience physical symptoms such as pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath that make it hard to function and that interfere with daily life.
Symptoms may fluctuate over time and are often worse during times of stress—for example—with a physical illness, during school exams, or during a family or relationship conflict.
What causes generalized anxiety disorder?
Risk for GAD can run in families. Several parts of the brain and biological processes play a key role in fear and anxiety. By learning more about how the brain and body function in people with anxiety disorders, researchers may be able to develop better treatments. Researchers have also found that external causes, such as experiencing a traumatic event or being in a stressful environment, may put you at higher risk for developing GAD.