Excessive Worrying & Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Worrying too much? It is normal to worry a little but if you are troubled by constant worries it is possible that you may have generalized anxiety disorder. The difference between “normal” worriers and people who are are considered to have an anxiety disorder, is that GAD sufferers worry about worrying.

Worry definition

Worrying has been defined as a string of negative thoughts that are mainly verbal and efforts at problem solving.

How many people are affected by worrying too much?

According to the American Psychiatric Association (1994), generalised anxiety affects up to 12% of the population. Excessive worrying is the most prevalent anxiety disorder.

Who tends to be worrying too much?

Excessive worrying is more common in women than men, with two thirds of sufferers being women. American Psychiatric Association (1994).

What is Generalised Anxiety?

People who have GAD experience persistent and excessive worry and have been worried most of the time for at least 6 months. They worry about at least two topics.

GAD sufferers tend to have chronic worries about real life situations such as: finances, the health of family members, housework, being late for appointments and losing one’s job. Children tend to worry excessively about their academic performance and/or sporting prowess or natural or man made disasters (e.g. September 11).

Their worrying is so that great that they experience  at least 3 of the following symptoms:

  •     restlessness or edginess
  •     fatigue
  •     impaired concentration or mind going blank
  •     irritability
  •     muscle tension
  •     disturbed sleep

The chronic worry is not about another disorder such as e.g. OCD or social phobia, or the possibility of having a panic attack ( as in panic disorder)etc

The excessive worrying is not caused by a medical illness or due to substances.

The anxiety, physical symptoms or worrying causes the sufferer a lot of distress or impacts significantly on their ability to work , socialise or go about their life.

Information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association

People who are troubled by chronic worries develop coping behaviours such as:

  •     seeking reassurance from others
  •     searching the internet for information
  •     drinking alcohol
  •     distraction

However, these coping behaviours may backfire and trigger even more worrying. Even if they don’t trigger more worries , these behaviours maintain the person’s psychological disorder, as they don’t learn they have ability to control their worrying within themselves.

How to  Stop Worrying

People can learn how to manage their worries more effectively. The CBT psychological treatment of GAD encompasses information, relaxation training, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy and problem solving training. Melbourne Clinical psychologist Catherine Madigan can be contacted on 0429883671

Medication Treatment of Excessive Worrying

SSSRIs used to treat generalized anxiety include:

  • Paroxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Sertraline

SNRIs to manage worrying include:

  • Venlafaxine

During the COVID-19 (Corona virus) period, Medicare  rebates are available for  all Australians for online video consultations and phone counselling. Therefore,  If you do not wish to attend face to face sessions, you can still receive treatment either online or via phone. Call now on 0429 88 3671 to make an appointment.

Please note, it is important to consult a qualified mental health practitioner such as e.g. a psychologist or psychiatrist to confirm any diagnosis you think you might have. You must not rely on the information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No assurance can be given that the information on this site will always include the most recent developments or research with respect to a particular topic.

4 Good Reason You Should Call Us!

Quick appointments no matter where you live in Australia. Online shyness, public speaking and anxiety treatment available.

Minimal out of pocket expense (Medicare & Health fund Rebates)

Clinical Psychologist with approx. 25 years of experience. Also offering virtual reality exposure therapy.

Business hours, After hours and Saturdays appointments

Frequently Asked Questions

Anxiety Australia is an anxiety clinic in Hawthorn, Melbourne that is run by Catherine Madigan, who is a clinical psychologist. She primarily focuses on treating anxiety disorders and stress management techniques to individuals and businesses through one on one consultations and stress management workshops.

She offers professional, discreet and confidential treatment options that work.

Catherine’s effective anxiety treatments offered in Melbourne can help you overcome disorders such as:

Call now for an appointment on 0429 883 671

The website provides information about anxiety disorders and the treatment options available. You will also find contact details for other psychologists around Australia who have substantial experience in and/or work primarily with anxiety disorders.

Catherine Madigan is a Melbourne based Clinical Psychologist. She is passionate about empowering clients with confidence. The reason her focus is primarily on the treatment of anxiety disorders is that she gains great satisfaction by witnessing the freedom and life changing results her therapies can deliver.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia, with 1/7 people (14% of the population) reporting having had an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, 18% vs 11%. ABS National Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing, Summary of Results 2007.

Anxiety or fear is a normal response to a present or imagined threat. Mild fear can be helpful as it enables us to respond quickly when faced with a dangerous situation and to be alert in difficult situations (e.g. exams). However, excessive fear may lead to people being paralysed e.g. soldiers under attack may be so afraid they can’t move to take cover, public speakers may find they go blank, forget their lines and are rendered speechless.

Anxiety is a normal emotion as it affects most people and is widespread. You would be abnormal if you didn’t experience fear sometimes. However, if your anxiety is out of proportion to the situation you are experiencing and/or persists in the absence of threat, e.g you worry about events months ahead or are experiencing anxiety long after the danger has passed, you may need professional help.

Some people are more prone to experiencing anxiety than others and it is not caused by just one thing but by a combination of factors including: genetics, family environment and traumatic life experiences. Sufferers may have unhelpful thinking patterns such as perfectionist standards. Nevertheless, you can learn to manage your anxiety more effectively.

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