Generalized Anxiety Disorder…and YOU?

18 12 2009

The fact of campus life…it’s tough! Adjusting to difficult classes, meeting new roommates, exploring shifting social groups, and finding financial security is naturally overwhelming. The majority of anxiety we experience as college students is normal and healthy. Normal levels of stress and anxiety encourage us to perform well and step up to the plate. For me, a little stress helps get the job done. If I didn’t stress, I wouldn’t accomplish much. But thousands of college students suffer from stress and anxiety beyond levels deemed “normal.” Personally, I believe that normal stress and anxiety levels vary from student to student. It is important that you understand what  anxiety level is typical for you, and not your friend or roommate. We all handle anxiety and stress differently. Learning to manage your anxiety is a life-long process. Stress management doesn’t happen overnight. Life happens. Unfortunately, college may not be the most stressful time of your life.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by EXCESSIVE, UNREALISTIC WORRY that lasts six months or more. In adults (or college students), the worries may focus on career, school, money, or health. Symptoms of GAD can also manifest physically like trembling, muscle aches, insomnia, abdominal upsets, dizziness, or irritability. If you think you may suffer from GAD, seek help. Contact your campus health or counseling center, chat with school adviser, visit with a religious leader, make an appointment with your family physician, or talk to a friend to receive help for generalized anxiety disorder.

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