Life can be challenging. If you are worried about loved ones or have problems at work or home, you might have times of feeling upset, frightened, or anxious.
However, if these feelings are occurring more often—or you don’t know why you feel scared or worried—you might have a condition called “generalized anxiety disorder.”
Anxiety disorders can run in families. If one of your parents has an anxiety disorder, you are more likely to develop one at some point. In addition, you might notice signs of anxiety in your children.
People with generalized anxiety disorder often have:
- A hard time managing everyday stress.
- Expectations that things will not turn out well.
- A sense that things must be “perfect” before they can relax.
- More rules about the way things “should” be than most other people.
Generalized anxiety disorder can cause you to:
- Have a fast heartbeat, even when you are sitting or resting.
- Be unable to make decisions.
- Feel overwhelmed with worry or frightening thoughts.
- Have pain in your stomach or headaches.
- Lose your appetite.
- Grind your teeth in your sleep.
- Have a hard time sleeping.
- Want to use drugs or alcohol in order to relax.
What are treatments for generalized anxiety disorder?
If you have mental or physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor.
There are medications that might help you to feel better. Talking to a counselor or therapist can also help. You can also learn ways to calm yourself during stressful moments.
What if my loved one has anxiety?
Your child, partner, or friend might have generalized anxiety disorder. The most important step is for them to visit their doctor to discuss treatment. You can support them as they work on getting better.
Some ways to show support include:
Supporting their recovery efforts
If your family member or friend is making lifestyle changes to reduce their anxiety, offer to do some activities with them. For example, join them for walks, dance workouts, or other exercise. Watch funny movies with them or encourage them if they are trying new health habits, like going to sleep earlier.
Talking about problems, worries, and fears can be an important first step in solving them. If your loved one needs to talk, offer them your time and attention. Ask questions about the causes of their anxiety—and what they are doing to feel better. Be patient and focus on them instead of your phone or TV.
Your family member or friend might be overwhelmed with home, work, school, or family demands. If you can, offer to help with child care, chores, grocery shopping, or other tasks. Be sure to ask what help they need, and ask more than once. Check in with calls, texts, or emails to show your support while your loved one works to improve their mental health.
Need help for depression, anxiety, or other concerns?
Call Carelon Behavioral Health.
You do not need approval for individual, family, or group therapy. Also, you do not need a referral from your regular doctor.
English/Spanish interpreter services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
HEALTHfirst (STAR Medicaid): 1-800-945-4644
KIDSfirst (CHIP): 1-800-945-4644
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