Generalized anxiety disorder - self-care
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental condition in which you're frequently worried or anxious about many things. Your anxiety may seem out of control and get in the way of everyday activities.
The right treatment can often improve GAD. You and your health care provider should make a treatment plan that could include talk therapy (psychotherapy), taking medicine, or both.
GAD - self-care; Anxiety - self-care; Anxiety disorder - self-care
Your provider may prescribe one or more medicines, including:
When taking medicine for GAD:
Talk therapy takes place with a trained therapist. It helps you learn ways of managing and reducing your anxiety. Some forms of talk therapy can help you understand what causes your anxiety. This allows you to gain better control over it.
Many types of talk therapy may be helpful for GAD. One common and effective talk therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help you understand the relationship between your thoughts, your behaviors, and your symptoms. Often, CBT involves a set number of visits. During CBT you can learn how to:
Your provider can discuss talk therapy options with you. Then you can decide together if it is right for you.
Other Ways to Manage Your Anxiety
Taking medicine and going to talk therapy can get you started on the road to feeling better. Taking care of your body and relationships can help improve your condition. Here are some helpful tips:
When to Call the Doctor
Call your provider if you:
American Psychiatric Association. Generalized anxiety disorder. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013:222-226.
Bui E, Pollack MH, Kinrys G, Delong H, Vasconcelos e Sa D, Simon NM. The pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 41.
Calkins AW, Bui E, Taylor CT, Pollack MH, LeBeau RT, Simon NM. Anxiety disorders. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 32.
Sprich SE, Olatunji BO, Reese HE, Otto MW, Rosenfield E, Wilhelm S. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive therapy. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 16.
Review Date: 5/14/2019
Reviewed By: Ryan James Kimmel, MD, Medical Director of Hospital Psychiatry at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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