About Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Worry is a common and natural response to life’s stressful situations, but it usually subsides when these situations are resolved. If you find yourself worrying most or all of the time, you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). With GAD, this constant sense of being “on edge” may interfere with your work, academics, or social relationships. Managing your symptoms through treatment and lifestyle changes can help you participate more fully in life.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Your physical and mental symptoms associated with GAD may change over time.
Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder may include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty with sleep
- Excessive of nervousness and worry
- Frequent urges to use the bathroom
- Unexplained aches and pains
Risk Factors for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
While factors that cause GAD are complex, certain people are more likely to develop the condition.
Risk factors for generalized anxiety disorder may include:
- Comorbid conditions: Many people with GAD also have other mental health conditions, such as major depressive disorder (MDD)
- Family history: individuals with GAD often have a relative with the condition
- Personal history: A history of trauma may be related to GAD onset
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop GAD
Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder at UT Health Austin
Generalized anxiety disorder is usually treated through a combination of medication and/or psychotherapy. Medications frequently include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
- Anti-anxiety medications (e.g., benzodiazepines or buspirone)
Lifestyle changes like regular exercise may also improve your symptoms. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines caring for you in one place to avoid having to schedule multiple appointments with providers at locations all over the city. The Adult Psychiatry care team includes a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and psychologist who work together to help you get back to the things in your life that matter most to you.
Your initial appointments will be scheduled with the team’s psychiatrist to collect a comprehensive history, clarify presenting concerns, and discuss potential treatment options. If warranted, treatment recommendations may include ongoing psychiatric care provided by a psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and/or behavioral therapy services provided by a psychologist.
We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to better address all aspects of your condition. At the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences, we create custom pathways to address you, the whole patient, by providing specialized treatment and management plans. Imaging and lab testing are also available on-site if needed.