Top Signs You May Be Struggling with GAD

Everyone has worries from time to time but when worry and stress start to consume our lives, we may not be dealing with everyday worry but rather Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Normal worry involves negative thoughts about events that may happen, but GAD is defined as excessive and persistent worry about daily life and events. Excessive worry becomes an issue when it’s happening every day, all day. GAD can easily interfere with our everyday functioning as we may find ourselves distracted and unable to shake the feelings of dread and worrying about one thing after another.

Here are a few signs that you may be struggling with General Anxiety Disorder:

1. You find yourself in a constant state of “what if” thinking. What if thinking can take over our lives, for example “what if I’m late… what if my boss writes me up… what if she fires me?” You can see how quickly the “what if” worrying escalated which keeps us trapped in a vicious cycle of negative thinking.

2. You can’t control or stop it. Despite your best efforts to focus on work or distract yourself, the feeling of dread and worry keeps coming back no matter what you do.

3. You’re “chaining”. Chaining is when one worry leads to another, and creates an on-going cycle of hypothetical scenarios. For example, something may spark you to worry about your health, despite being perfectly healthy, and may lead to a chain of worries related to you having a rare incurable disease.

4. Worry is impacting your physical health. You have lost your appetite, or find yourself eating more than usual. Or you may find yourself feeling exhausted due to difficultly sleeping.

5. Avoidance/procrastination. You may find yourself avoiding new opportunities or procrastinating starting new tasks as a way to cope with worry. Often avoidance serves as a way of protecting ourselves from being exposed to new situations that may cause worry however this is a form a self-sabotage.

6. Excessive reassurance-seeking. We may ask other’s their opinions or thoughts before acting as a way of reassurance. We may do this for both major and minor decisions.

7. It’s been over 6 months. People with GAD typically struggling with feelings of anxiety and excessive worrying for at least 6 months.

Again it’s normal to worry especially when facing a lot of stress or difficult life transitions. However whether you have General Anxiety Disorder or struggling with stress, counselling such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a commonly recommended treatment for this condition. CBT can help you better manage your thinking patterns that can perpetuate GAD. Counselling provides you a safe and confidential space to talk about your challenges and come up with realistic solutions to better cope. Medication is another option to manage symptoms and if interested, please talk to your doctor.

If interested in counselling and/or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) book an appointment with our resident therapist. Psychotherapy and Counselling services are available at Bronte Wellness Boutique.