How can you help someone with generalized anxiety disorder?

Anxiety is a natural feeling in humans and it is not uncommon to experience it in certain situations in our life. Uncomfortable moments, stress or frustration, in general, are also accompanied by a feeling of anxiety. However, there are some extreme cases where anxiety affects our quality of life too much.

In this article we will look at how to help someone with generalized anxiety disorder (Friends, family, partner, etc.) through a list of practical tips that we can apply in our daily life, we also review the concept of this disorder.

    What is the TAG?

    Understanding How To Help A Person With Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) it is better to understand what exactly this psychological disorder is.

    In short, it is a persistent state of anxiety caused by anxiety, which affects the person permanently (for several months) and intensely, and which usually has no logical reason.

    People with this condition they manifest an accelerated thought pattern and a catastrophic and pessimistic tendency. This means that they imagine that things will always go wrong for them, even before they start doing them. It is precisely this negative way of always anticipating situations that generates constant discomfort, which affects the subject in various areas of his daily life (personal, family, professional).

    When the subject is often anxious, and also with high intensity, we can be confronted with this disorder. however, diagnosis can only be made by mental health professionals.

    The causes of this condition can be biological (brain chemistry) or environmental (social factors), although both are usually very important. It is ideal to perform both neurological and psychological assessments to clearly establish the source of the anxiety.

      Symptoms of this disorder

      The symptoms of this disorder vary according to the causes and the stage of evolutionary development in which the person is; generalized anxiety in adolescence is not the same as in adulthood.

      During the young stages of development, symptoms may become more acute. Adults, in general, are successful in self-regulation. however, it is recommended to seek professional help regardless of the person’s age.

      Let’s take a closer look at some of these symptoms, the most common:

      • Constant anguish or worry for trivial reasons, sometimes for no apparent reason.
      • Thinking excessively in the face of any circumstance, always leading to a negative conclusion.
      • Feel like you are constantly threatened, even if there is no evidence of it.
      • Complications in dealing with difficult or uncomfortable situations.
      • Lack of self-confidence, conflicts in decision making.
      • Impossibility of letting go of a distressing thought.
      • Difficulty relaxing, due to a constant feeling of being on the edge of events.
      • Problems maintaining concentration due to intrusive thoughts.

      How can you help someone with generalized anxiety disorder?

      Now we will see some ways we could help and support people with generalized anxiety disorder.

      1. Demonstrates constant support

      It is important that the support we give to people with this disorder is constant. These are anxious subjects, I the fact that our help is intermittent would affect them even more in terms of the negative thoughts they present.

      The ideal is to make a structured accompaniment plan, where we set times and dates when we can attend the subject, in order to avoid breaking with any appointment or commitment that we have made with this person.

      2. Learn about the disorder

      The more information we have about this disorder, the more we will have a clear picture to support those who need it. If we can understand why they behave the way they do, we can be more empathetic and less critical of their behavior.

      3. Support during therapy

      Therapy is an essential factor for this disorder to be managed properly. It is important that we understand the person who needs specialist treatment. Accompanying the subject to therapy will generate a sense of security that will make it easier for therapy to be abandoned, at least initially.

      4. Relieve yourself with someone else

      In general, providing help to people with a disorder is exhausting for those who take up the job. It is important that those who support others in this way also take time for themselves and have someone with whom to discuss their experiences and be able to express their feelings.

      5. It creates an entertaining atmosphere

      People with generalized anxiety disorder live with a constant feeling of anxiety. One way to alleviate this discomfort is to generate an environment where worries are dissipated and where it is possible to laugh at everyday things.

      Taking issues seriously helps them take a more neutral stance and less prone to catastrophic thoughts. In this way, we have shown this person that all is not as bad as you think it is.

      6. Encourage your social relationships

      It is quite common for people with generalized anxiety disorder to feel insecure in their relationships with others for fear that things will not turn out well, which causes them to be limited or completely deprived of it. initiate social bonds with others.

      It is important to promote sociability in them, Demonstrate that interpersonal relationships, as complicated as they may seem, are necessary and can greatly contribute to improving the quality of life. Of course, it is not necessary to force or adopt an antagonistic attitude, as this will generate more anxiety; it suffices to facilitate the dialogues and social interactions to take place, to give the opportunity to de-socialize, by having the person with TAG the last word.

      7. Help him organize

      One factor that greatly contributes to reducing anxiety levels in people is have some control over their activities. Providing people with generalized anxiety with the tools they need to organize themselves is very helpful.

      For example, you can help him design his schedule, encourage him to print it out and display it in places he often visits his home, and make bedtime a good time. always the same. Maintaining consistency in the times of the day that you will spend asleep will help alleviate anxiety issues, and in addition, time tables allow you to have a clear sequence of actions to take at all times. which helps to focus and detach. of psychological rumination.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Craske, MG; Stein, MB (2016). Anxiety. Lancet, 388 (10063): pages 3048-3059.
      • DeMartini, J .; Patel, G .; Fancher, TL (2019). Generalized anxiety disorder. Annals of Internal Medicine. 170 (7): ITC49 – ITC64.
      • Mochcovitch, M. (2014). A systematic review of MRI studies in generalized anxiety disorders: assessment of their neuronal and cognitive basis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 167, pages 336-342.
      • Schacter, DL; Gilbert, DT; Wegner, DM (2011). Generalized anxiety disorders. Psychology. New York: Worth, incorporated. pages 559-560 Torpy, JM; Burke, AE; Golub, RM (2011). Generalized anxiety disorder. JAMA, 305 (5): p. 522.
      • Solomon, C. (2015): Generalized anxiety disorder. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373 (21), pages 2059-2068.

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