Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) better
Many people suffer unnecessarily for a long time from a generalized anxiety disorder because only the symptoms are treated instead of the causes. This applies both to drug treatment with antidepressants or benzodiazepines and to many of the common psychotherapeutic methods.
Before we go into more detail about what you can do to get rid of generalized anxiety disorder quickly and permanently, let’s first clarify how generalized anxiety disorder develops in the first place. After all, it does not come out of the blue, but usually develops from a phobic disorder, a panic disorder or a hypochondriacal disorder that has not been treated at all or has been treated incorrectly.
What is behind the diagnosis of GAD
Generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed whenever a sufferer worries excessively about every little thing for more than 6 months and is therefore under constant tension. In addition, other physical triggers, such as hyperthyroidism, must be excluded and at least 4 of the following symptoms must occur extremely frequently:
- fear of losing control
- fear of dying
- breathing difficulties
- dry mouth
- trembling or tingling sensations
- chills or hot flashes
- derealization or depersonalization
- permanent tension
- difficulty swallowing
- concentration problems
- mild irritability
- difficulty falling asleep
Generalized anxiety as a result of wrong or too late treatment
A generalized anxiety disorder develops in the vast majority of cases when an anxiety or panic disorder has not been recognized in time or has been treated incorrectly. Wrongly, because either only the symptoms were suppressed with medication or because within psychotherapy one tried to teach the patient to ignore or endure the fear. All these forms of treatment overlook the fact that anxiety usually fulfills an important function. It is a warning signal from our subconscious that wants to warn us urgently that something in life should be changed. And as long as this change has not occurred, neither medication nor confrontation therapy will help to overcome the fear causally.
Therefore, ask yourself:
Where is a change in my life long overdue? Perhaps at work, in a relationship or in a social environment? Where has your gut feeling been saying “I have to get out of here” for a long time, while your conscious mind is still looking for reasons to continue avoiding change?
It is not without reason that generalized anxiety disorder is also referred to as a “psychosomatic” illness. The body (Greek: soma) is healthy in most cases. Nevertheless, the psyche ensures that numerous symptoms of illness are perceived. However, your psyche only does this for your own good, even if this naturally feels quite different during an acute anxiety attack.
Of course, there is also a whole range of physical triggers that come into question for a generalized anxiety disorder. But here, too, serious mistakes are often made because many of the possible triggers are not sufficiently investigated.
By the way, you can easily check yourself whether your attending physician is up to date in this regard. Simply compare everything that has been examined or addressed in your case. If the points listed in the next paragraph were included, then congratulations: your doctor is fully informed and you are most likely in good hands.
These physical triggers are often overlooked
The physical triggers of an anxiety disorder are numerous. In addition to medication intolerances, food intolerances and hormonal problems, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies as well as drug use repeatedly lead to anxiety symptoms. Other anxiety triggers that are unfortunately particularly often overlooked are also:
- a streptococcal infection
- Roemheld syndrome
- incorrectly dosed thyroid medication
- a disturbed cell metabolism due to cervical spine problems
- extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- an allergic reaction to antibiotics
- intolerance to hormonal IUDs
- intolerance to antidepressants
Yes, you read correctly! Antidepressants can also cause severe anxiety as a side effect. Here is a list of symptoms that often occur while taking them:
- sexual dysfunction
- concentration problems
- ringing in the ears
- visual disturbances
- abnormal dreams
- increased sweating
- tingling sensations
Never discontinue antidepressants abruptly, but do so very slowly and under a doctor’s supervision.
Anxiety disorder as a labor of love of the psyche
Since the beginning of mankind, fear has had an important task. It should protect us as best as possible from danger. However, not all dangers are as obvious as a tiger snarling in front of us. Even a medication that we suddenly can no longer tolerate or a toxic relationship that we can’t seem to get away from can trigger an anxiety attack.
And even though you may hardly imagine it: Even a job that you hold on to despite being bullied by colleagues is sometimes enough for the psyche to make us change jobs with anxiety and panic. Accordingly, we have often witnessed an anxiety disorder disappearing overnight simply because a sufferer had finally found a better job.
Good to know:
If you go against your gut feeling and thus against your better judgment for too long, your psyche has to make itself heard elsewhere. Anxieties and also psychosomatic symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations or hot flashes are often nothing more than labors of love by the psyche to remind you emphatically that changes are overdue in a certain area of life.
The worst mistake: treating symptoms instead of causes
If no physical causes are found in a psychosomatic illness, the obvious thought is to use psychotropic drugs to combat the generalized anxiety. But this is a serious mistake. Because these drugs do nothing to change the neuronal structure of your brain. But it is precisely this neuronal structure that is to blame for the fact that your fear of change continues to keep you in situations that are no longer good for you. With medication, however, you only treat the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, while the true causes remain.
Get rid of anxiety disorders thanks to the latest brain research findings
Neuroscientists worldwide now agree that the cause of almost every anxiety disorder can be found in the neuronal connections of the brain. Through synaptic connections formed and reinforced by regular negative thinking over years, people structurally alter their brains to such an extent that anxiety eventually becomes a completely automated behavior. But instead of taking this into account, for almost 50 years the pharmaceutical industry has focused only on providing the brains of anxiety sufferers with more happy neurotransmitters such as serotonin or norepinephrine. Unfortunately, word has not yet spread that neither anxious nor depressed people are deficient in these neurotransmitters, even though many doctors and therapists still claim just that.
For those who would like to learn more about this, I recommend the article linked here, which appeared in the OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE WORLD PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (WPA).
Treating symptoms instead of causes has serious long-term consequences
I would like to illustrate with the help of a small example how dangerous it can be to only suppress symptoms with medication or the wrong therapies instead of getting to the bottom of the true causes:
Imagine you have a car that has a leak in the cooling water system. But instead of repairing the leak (i.e. the cause of the water loss), you fill up with coolant day after day so that your engine doesn’t break down. The leak gets bigger and bigger over time and your radius of action gets smaller and smaller at the same time, because you have to stop permanently to refill water again.
And just as it is of course wiser to repair the leak instead of just tinkering with the consequences, so it is with an anxiety disorder. Here, too, it is wiser to change the brain structurally through certain exercises in such a way that the anxiety disorder is stopped where it originated, namely in the automated thought processes of your brain. Medications against anxiety are in principle nothing more than a permanent refilling of cooling water. At best, they delay the necessary repair somewhat, but they do not solve the problem. However, the longer you delay a repair, the greater the original damage becomes.
Applied to an anxiety disorder, this means that the longer an anxiety disorder is not treated at all or is treated incorrectly, the greater the danger that it will spread and affect more and more areas of life. By the way, this transfer of anxiety to more and more areas of life is called “generalization” and that is where the name “generalized anxiety disorder” comes from.
Overcoming generalized anxiety disorder permanently is possible
Thanks to modern brain research, it is now possible to combat the causes of generalized anxiety disorder yourself and thus get rid of anxiety permanently. With the help of specially tailored mental training, you can literally remove the neural basis of fear from your brain. New synaptic connections are built up in which ease and composure dominate, while all the connections in which fear predominates are increasingly broken down. What exactly happens in your brain and how you can perform this fast and extremely effective method as a self-therapy at home, you will learn in our online video course “The Anxiety Cure”. If you want, you can watch the first of 53 episodes HERE for free.