One partner having significant anxiety or even Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can impact the entire relationship. When one person has an issue it effects both partners.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things.
People with the disorder, which is also referred to as GAD, experience exaggerated worry and tension, often expecting the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues.
How Do You Know If You Have An Anxiety Disorder?
GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. Sometimes people don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.
GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.
Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role. When their anxiety level is mild, people with GAD can function socially and be gainfully employed.
Although they may avoid some situations because they have the disorder, some people can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities when their anxiety is severe. Learn the difference between general anxiety about the economy and generalized anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder:
Chronic, and unsubstantiated worry, often about health, family, money, or work. This worrying goes on every day, possibly all day. It disrupts social activities and interferes with work, school, or family.
Physical symptoms of GAD include the following:
• Gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea
• Overly suspicious about your partner
• Feeling excessive neediness in the relationship
• Feeling overly impulsive
• Muscle tension
• Difficulty sleeping
Additional Symptoms May Include:
• A feeling of impending doom, that something horrible is about to happen, that you are
... in grave danger
• A strong feeling of fear, foreboding
• An urge to escape, to get out, to run away from danger
• Blanching, turning white, looking pale
• Blushing, skin blotches, turning red
• Burning skin
• Choking sensation, tightening throat, it feels like your throat is closing
• Depersonalization (feeling detached from reality, separate from one-self, separate
... from.normal emotions)
• Derealization (feeling unreal, in a dream-like state)
• Dizziness, lightheadedness, unsteadiness
• Emotional distress
• Emotional upset
• Fear of going crazy
• Fear of losing control, freaking out
• Fearful thoughts that seem incessant
• Feels like there is a tight band around your head
• Hot or cold chills • Inability to calm yourself down
• Knot in the stomach, tight stomach
• Numbness, tingling sensations in any part of the body
• Panicky feeling
• Pins and needles feeling
• Plugged ear(s), stuffed ear(s)
• Pounding heart
• Racing heart
• Shooting pains in the chest, neck, shoulder, head, or face
• Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
• Tightness in the chest
• Trembling, shaking (visibly shaking or just trembling on the inside)
• Upset stomach
• Urgent desire to go to the bathroom (urinate, defecate)
How Can You Get Help for Anxiety Issues?
If you feel you have some of these above symptoms it is best to work with a Mental Health Professional. At the Institute for Couples Counseling we are highly trained with working at the many anxiety issues that surface in individuals and relationships. Please feel free to contact us with any of your questions or concerns.
More on Anxiety Disorders may be found at: