There are a hundred different ways or more that people deal with their stress and anxiety. Some meditate. Some take up yoga or martial arts. Some people just unwind with Netflix over the weekend before they face another week full of responsibilities and decisions. Life is so uncertain; anxiety may just seem normal to many people. However, when that anxiety becomes overwhelming to the point where it interferes with your ability to make a living or even function normally, that’s nothing that can be fixed with a little meditation or a weekend off.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a serious mental health condition. Its effect on sufferers is every bit as disabling as certain medical conditions. Some of the most obvious symptoms of GAD include:
- Pronounced difficulty coping with uncertainty
- Problems concentrating on tasks because of your worries
- An inability to relax or a feeling that you’re about to break down
- Obsessive thoughts about a situation or worry, no matter how small
- Overthinking and worrying about “worst-case” scenarios that aren’t even likely to happen
- Overreacting to small problems or events
- Panicking over perceived “threats” that aren’t real
All of these symptoms can interfere with your executive functions, making it difficult to keep a schedule, focus on your work or handle ordinary challenges without panic attacks.
In addition, GAD can also lead to physical problems that cannot be discounted when you consider how disabling the condition really is. Sufferers of GAD often have difficulty sleeping, experience muscle tension and aches and develop problems with their digestive systems. They may feel constantly tired, weak and irritable.
If your generalized anxiety disorder keeps you from working or functioning normally, it may be time to file for Social Security Disability. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your anxiety isn’t a “real” disability. It is. If you have trouble getting your disability claim approved, an attorney may help.