Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Animation

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GAD: Symptoms, pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnostic criteria, treatment options. This video is available for instant download licensing here:
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Voice by : Marty Henne
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Generalized anxiety disorder, GAD, is a very common mental disorder characterized by excessive, difficult to control, and often irrational, worry about everyday activities. The worry is persistent and typically encompasses different areas of life including work, health, finance, family and relationships. Patients have hard time with daily tasks, and often present with psychological as well as physical symptoms, such as restlessness, muscle tension, digestive problems, headaches and sleep disturbance.
The mechanism of GAD is not well understood. Some evidence suggests that GAD patients may experience persistent activation in areas of the brain that process stimuli associated with fear, anxiety, and emotions. Dysfunction of brain pathways involved in anxiety, such as serotonin and noradrenergic systems, is thought to be responsible.
Development of GAD is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as significant life changes or traumatic events. Women are somewhat more affected than men. Other risk factors include lower level of education, chronic illnesses and other mental disorders.
Diagnosis of GAD is challenging. Patients must be tested to rule out other medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, or use of substances that may produce similar symptoms.
Diagnostic criteria published by the American Psychiatric Association include:
– excessive anxiety occurring for more than half of the time, and ongoing for at least six months.
– the anxiety is difficult to control; and is associated with at least 3 of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance.
– the anxiety results in significant distress or impairment in social and occupational areas.
– symptoms are not due to other conditions or substance use.
The GAD-7, a questionnaire of 7 items, is usually used as a screening tool and for severity assessment. Greater GAD-7 scores indicate greater severity.
Treatments are most effective when combining life style changes, psychotherapy and medications.
Lifestyle recommendations include identifying and removing possible triggers, eating healthy, practicing relaxation techniques, improving sleep and doing physical exercise.
Medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety agents, and benzodiazepines.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are considered first-line therapy. All antidepressants should be tested for optimal dosage and taken for at least 4 weeks to determine efficacy. Patients must be monitored for adverse effects. On the other hand, benzodiazepines are generally prescribed only for relieving acute anxiety on a short-term basis because of potential risk for misuse and dependence.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

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  1. GAD and Depression + suicidal thoughts is Hell.

    I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy.

  2. I was diagnosed with OCD, GAD and depression not too long ago, it can be very hard to control all of it at once when depression and GAD is two ‘very’ different things, im struggling just to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

  3. Well it seems I got also gad for 4 years already. Just in my case no any medication worked, tried ssri snri…5 different. It seems work just benzos for night. All body is affected, expecially legs and back. Huge tension and pain. I was 32 then it came and now 36. After night sleep feeling 😴 like broken head.

  4. This condition has been very difficult for me since early adulthood. The last symptom to appear , and the worst, is unexplained pure terror. I have leaky heart valves and when one of these attacks occur, I get really abnormal heartbeats, which in itself is very frightening.

  5. For suicidal there, try taking Lithium Carbonate, it helps a lot to me. Save your life God bless you and comeback to life.

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