Did you know that Generalized Anxiety Disorder otherwise known as GAD is commonest amongst women?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD)
Anxiety means fear or nervousness. GAD happens when there is uncontrollable or extreme anxiety about life issues which in turn affects a person’s day-to-day activities, such that affected individuals find it difficult to stop worrying for 6 months or more. According to data collated by the University College Hospital, Ibadan, there are more than 1.5 million cases of GAD every year in Nigeria and more women are affected than men are.
Signs/symptoms of GAD?
The following are some of the symptoms of GAD
• Trouble concentrating on important tasks or prioritizing tasks
• Persistent worrying
• Finding it difficult to sleep
• Rapid heartbeat
• Fear of making the wrong decisions
• Unable to let go of a worry. It could be money, house, spouse, health, cars, anything at all.
• Sweaty palms
• Expecting the worse situation to happen
• Feeling twitchy
Causes of GAD
The cause of GAD is unknown. That it’s unknown doesn’t necessarily mean the cause is spiritual. It just means that GAD is caused by a complicated mix of genetics, personality, and environmental factors.
However, several risk factors can predispose a person to it. Some of them include;
• Exposure to stressful life situations
• Family history of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
• Substance abuse
Why women are commonly affected than men?
Women are commonly affected with GAD because they are largely exposed to most of the triggers of GAD compared to men.
Other factors that increase the chance of GAD in women include;
• Reproductive events across a woman’s life that are associated with hormonal imbalance has also proven to increase anxiety in women.
• The history of sexual or child abuse in women can also result in GAD.
How to prevent GAD
The following can be used to prevent GAD detected at an early stage;
• Seeking professional help early.
• Carefully managing ones time and energy.
• Keeping track of your daily activities and eliminating stressors.
• Exercising regularly and meditating.
• Avoiding substance abuse.
I hope this piece brings help and a sense of direction for who ever needs it.
Beulah Dukanwojo Suleman
for, Mental Care Foundation