Generalized Anxiety Disorder

From work worries to family-related stress to more existential concerns about what we want our future to become, contemporary life can often feel like an obstacle course of challenges—and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the task of navigating it all with ease. Feeling anxious from time to time is a fact of life—especially during stressful periods of transition or change. But when anxiety begins to interfere with your normal routines and take over your thought patterns in a persistent fashion, it may be time to consult your doctor.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is an illness characterized by repeated, exaggerated worry about routine life events and activities that may result in chronic levels of an elevated stress response, and a weakened immune system. People with normal anxiety may suffer a sleepless night or occasional feelings of distraction and irritability—but people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder experience these symptoms more frequently and with greater intensity, along with other symptoms, on a daily basis in a way that

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can quickly become detrimental to their quality of life. Other signs of this disorder may include gastrointestinal issues (including the development of leaky gut syndrome), muscle tension, an inability to concentrate or relax, recurrent patterns of overthinking, persistent worrying, and a fear of making the wrong decision. Generalized Anxiety Disorder may last at least six months, during which time the person is affected by extreme worry more days than not.

Certain gene variants can predispose us to suffer more anxiety—and genetic testing can play an important role in determining what type of treatment is needed to help ease symptoms and enable patients to live their fullest lives without being held back by their persistent feelings of anxiety. We encourage you to visit one of our doctors at Potomac Psychiatry if you feel you are struggling to move past persistent worries or anxious thoughts—there is a path forward, and using personalized precision psychiatry, our doctors can help you get there sooner.