What does gad feel like?

Do you ever feel like your brain is on overdrive? Like there’s a hamster in your head, running endlessly on its little wheel without any respite whatsoever? If yes, then maybe you’re familiar with the term “GAD”.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that affects many people worldwide. It’s like having an imaginary friend who never leaves you alone and continuously whispers in your ear about all sorts of bad things that could happen to you.

Signs And Symptoms Of GAD

The symptoms of GAD are not always easy to spot. The disorder itself doesn’t have any defined physical manifestation; it primarily presents as psychological symptoms such as excessive worry or fear. Those living with GAD typically experience some of these common signs:

  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Easily fatigued
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability

Note: Many people assume that anxiety and fear are interchangeable terms. However, while they can overlap significantly, they do have distinctions between them.

What Triggers GAD?

There isn’t necessarily just one thing that can cause generalized anxiety disorder; instead, it often results from various genetic and environmental factors. Here are some potential triggers:


Family history plays a crucial role in identifying whether someone will develop the condition or not.

Environmental Factors:

Several life experiences may trigger Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
– Stressful social interactions.
– Chronic illness.
– Trauma or abuse.

These events impact everyone differently, so the impacts also differ when someone has acute stress exposure versus those experiencing chronic elevated conditions.

Fun fact: Did you know certain foods may contribute towards heightened levels of anxiety? A diet high in processed food/sugar might lead to symptoms quickly due to their glycemic index score nearing 100.

How Is GAD Diagnosed?

If several of the symptoms seem to impact daily functioning, medical professionals will likely conduct a detailed exam. The diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (DSM-5) include:
– Excessive worry or anxiety more days than not for at least six months, about multiple things.
– It’s challenging to control these thoughts.
– Symptoms affect productivity in various areas of life.

Note: While many people experience anxious thoughts periodically; generalized anxiety recurs over time and impairs their ability to lead an everyday life.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, GAD is highly treatable! Some resources recommended by most physicians are:


The person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder may find short-term relief from benzodiazepines for acute anxiety episodes.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Self-help technique that helps you redirect your negative thought pathways into positive ones.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques utilized to prevent self-harm and suicidal ideation along with other health concerns like substance abuse.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: This well-being model uses acceptance strategies set up within traditional CBT as well as mindfulness practices to help manage stress tolerance levels affectively.

Dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder can feel overwhelming sometimes, but identifying it early on is crucial so treatment can begin. And remember – though this hamster wheel won’t stop spinning overnight, there are numerous ways available today that offer hope towards feeling better rested and settled once again.

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