Generalized Anxiety Disorder Self Test (GAD-7)
It’s completely normal to feel anxious at times, but people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) excessively worry about several things. People worry about their finances or relationships, but it’s a whole new level with GAD. What’s frightening is that they are aware that there is nothing to worry about, yet they worry uncontrollably.
When you have GAD, the things you worry about are similar to those other people feel anxious about, but the anxiety is long-lasting with you. It can go on for months without treatment or therapy. Over time, it can interfere with your sleep and relationships. GAD can drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Take a GAD-7 Self-Test
If your responses indicate that you have moderate to severe anxiety, speak to a mental health professional as soon as possible. If you received a score in the none to mild anxiety range, your risk for anxiety is low. However, you should seek professional help to receive an accurate medical diagnosis.
If you experience symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, seek out professional help, regardless of your risk score.
Please note this tool is for self-evaluation purposes only. This test is not intended to replace a medical diagnosis. If you believe you have generalized anxiety disorder or another psychological condition, seek professional treatment.
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
A phobia is fear of something, a specific situation, or things, whereas, with GAD, you get a general feeling of fear or uneasiness, and it isn’t easy to control. Although you know there is nothing to worry about, the anxiety is still intense in people with GAD. An unreturned phone call or message may worry you endlessly, and it’ll keep running in your mind for days and even months.
Having GAD can be overwhelming and stressful, but there is treatment available for this anxiety disorder. With the right treatment, you can gain control of your life.
Keep in mind that a normal worry doesn’t last. In people with GAD, their worry is:
Differentiating “Normal” Worry from GAD
People with GAD report feelings of intense worry. It’s different from a normal worry that some people feel.
Worrying without GAD:
- You worry, but you are still productive during the day. It doesn’t get in the way of your social or work life.
- You worry, but it doesn’t last. You may feel better at the end of the day.
- You are still in control
- Your worries don’t really stress you out.
- You can identify why you’re worried about things.
Worrying with GAD:
- Your worries affect your social and work life. You can find it hard to concentrate because of your constant worries.
- Your anxiety lasts for months, and you have no idea how to stop it.
- You worry uncontrollably.
- Your worries really stress you out. The feeling is intense. You think it’s never going to stop.
- You have no idea what worries you. You worry about multiple things on end.
How is GAD Diagnosed
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed with a health screening by your physician or primary care provider. Depending on the symptoms, they may refer to either a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
One of the most commonly used tests is the GAD-7, a diagnostic self-report scale that can tell the patient if the anxiety is mild, moderate, or severe.
A medical professional may also perform other tests, especially when you are at risk for GAD.
Risk factors for Generalized Anxiety Disorder include:
- Family history of anxiety
- Child abuse
- Prolonged personal issues and other stressful situations
- Excessive tobacco and caffeine
Other tests they may perform include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Stress tests
Symptoms of GAD
The symptoms of GAD vary, and it’s never the same with everyone. However, there are general symptoms that you need to watch out for. They can be a combination of several symptoms: emotional, physical, or behavioral. You must be aware of the symptoms as they can help you during treatment.
- Muscle tensions
- Sweaty palms
- Rapid heartbeat
- Diarrhea or nausea
- Constant worry
- Not being in control
- Can’t deal with uncertainties
- Difficulty sleeping and concentrating
- Can’t relax at all
- Tries to avoid stressful situations
Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (CBT, Medication, then TMS)
Seeing a mental professional can help you significantly manage or treat GAD. CBT, Medical, and TMS are the treatments available for GAD.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – CBT
CBT is a type of psychological treatment that can effectively treat a range of problems, including anxiety disorders like GA, depression, and several other mental illnesses. CBT can lead to a significant improvement in the patient’s quality of life.
In using CBT to treat GAD, your therapist will help you identify the negative thoughts that lead to constant and uncontrollable worry.
First, your therapist will educate you about your anxiety disorder and how it’s disrupting your life. You’ll learn about when it’s okay to worry and when it’s not helpful to worry. With CBT, awareness is the key. You need to be aware of your behavior, embrace it, so you can let it go.
Your therapist will ask you to monitor your anxiety and what triggers it specifically. It’s imperative that you become aware and taking note of what triggers your anxiety. If possible, write this down in your notebook. Taking notes can help you track down your progress.
With GAD, you’ll be taught how to do relaxation techniques that can help you calm down and ease your worries. Your therapist can teach you how to evaluate your thinking patterns that lead to feelings of constant worry. Over time, you’ll know how to manage them effectively. It’s essential that you continue CBT until you are successfully treated.
A mental health professional may also prescribe medications to help you temporarily manage some of the symptoms of GAD. One of them is Benzodiazepines, an anti-anxiety drug that can help you relieve the symptom in about 30 minutes to an hour.
Your doctor may also prescribe antidepressants. They include:
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
- Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem)
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS
Another treatment that has been effective in treating GAD is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS, where it heals specific areas of the brain that lead to improvement in your energy, focus, mood, function, and general well-being.
Let us know if you need help with this treatment. Brain Center TMS is committed to providing only the best TMS treatment for patients with GAD. Brain Center TMS has the highest healing rates compared to other TMS providers, and we can provide scientific data for this.
Also, our treatment always depends on the patient. Our professional team will do initial tests and evaluations with each patient and recommend the best solutions. Our treatment is customized to the patient’s needs. To ensure success in our treatment, we incorporate talk therapy.
Other Ways to Manage GAD
Apart from getting treatment, it’s also essential that you learn to also manage GAD on your own. There are things you can do to help you manage the symptoms.
Find Someone You Can Trust
It would help if you had someone who would never judge or criticize you. This person can be your romantic partner, sibling, or friend you can completely trust. Remember that you can talk to this person about whatever you are feeling at the moment. When a therapist isn’t available, you can confide in this person.
As much as possible, please talk about your worries and how it’s making you feel. Remember that talking to someone is therapeutic, especially when this person is someone you really trust. You don’t need a lot of friends, just a few ones who are really true to you.
It’s also important that you learn who to avoid when you’re worried about something. Not everyone in our lives can affect us positively. Some of the people that you know may be very pessimistic or constantly worried too.
Although they may not have GAD, it’s best when you try to avoid this type of person. As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people, those who can make you realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Have an Active Lifestyle
Exercise has loads of benefits, and it can also help you manage your anxiety. Physical activity can relieve stress and tension and can make you feel good about yourself.
As much as possible, get moving. You don’t have strenuous exercises to do this; you allot about 30 minutes every other day for physical activity. You can do brisk walking or running. Meditation exercises such as yoga can also help.
Get an exercise buddy, if you can. You can even play badminton, go to dancing lessons or any activity that will get you moving.
Get it in Paper
Talk therapy, medications, CBT, and TMS, are all effective in treating GAD. But don’t underestimate the power of the written word. Writing can be incredibly therapeutic, especially to people suffering from mental disorders or anxiety issues.
When you’re feeling worried, write about it. Describe how you are feeling exactly. If possible, keep a daily diary, as this can also help you track your progress.
You’ll become more aware of your emotions or how your anxiety is affecting you. Use this diary when you visit your therapist. It’s going to help you immensely.
Contact Brain Center TMS
There is hope for people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Talk to us so we can help you manage the symptoms.
Better yet, let us know so we can help you eliminate GAD in your life. Brain Center TMS can help you gain control of your life. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.