Generalised anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder, is a mental disorder consisting of prolonged and persistent worrying about the various events and situations in life such as that connected with the state of health, work, death, family, future, etc.
People who suffer from generalised anxiety disorder, feel an exaggerated and unjustified fear of what they think might happen in the future. Most frequently anticipated scenarios are the unhappiness associated with illness or financial problems. It should be noted that pathologic fear increases in stressful situations (for example, when we feel alone or lonely), and decreases in a period of relative peace of mind.
Generalised anxiety disorder has a significant impact on the lives of those who are close to the person suffering from a mental disorder. The creation of a black scenario causes exaggerated vigilance which can lead to the manifestation of the overprotective controlling. This behaviour is usually “justified” by concern for health and safety of others.
Generalised anxiety disorder can manifest itself also physiologically by headaches, abdominal and neck pain, nausea and vomiting, excessive sweating and sleep disturbances. You may also experience problems with concentration and memory, extreme irritability and feelings of irritation and chronic fatigue. Alcohol and/or drug use may also occur more frequently in the lives of people with anxiety.
It is suggested that if unjustified fear persists for more than six months, it may be necessary to visit a psychiatrist and consider the use of medication. As in the case of depression, it is recommended to start working with a psychotherapist.
During the therapeutic process, the therapist encourages the client to take a closer look at the nature of tormenting thoughts and to understand how they affect the feeling and action. The counsellor helps to look at the troubles in the alternative and helpful way. Individuals with generalised anxiety disorder may stick to the belief that the worries they have are rational.
One of the goals of the therapeutic process is to build a new belief that focusing on the scenario under the title: what if it is completely unproductive and destructive. Therefore, the tendency to concentrate on solving problems that do not actually exist, and engage in imagining catastrophic scenarios, are confronted during the session.
Relaxation training and mindfulness training can be very helpful in minimising the effects of negative long-term fear or anxiety. Instead of rejecting and avoiding the feeling of fear, during the training the client is strongly supported to be in/with the feeling. According to this method, anxiety will be reduced naturally, without fighting against it.
The therapist may also encourage clients to reflect on the changes in lifestyle that could further help to reduce or completely get rid of the unjustified fears.