You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with
generalized anxiety disorder
(GAD). By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor: Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Tell your doctor about your constant worry and tension, or any other signs of GAD, such as aches and pains for no reason, or trouble sleeping.Tell your doctor if these problems keep you from doing everyday things and living your life.Ask for a checkup to check for other illnesses.Ask your doctor if they have helped other people with GAD. Special training helps doctors treat people with GAD. If your doctor doesn't have special training, ask for the name of a doctor or counselor who does.
What treatment options are available for GAD?
If your doctor prescribes medicine, ask:
How long will it take to work?What benefits can I expect?What side effects should I watch for?Can you recommend a counselor who treats people with GAD?
If you decide to try counseling, interview counselors and find one with whom you feel comfortable discussing your problems. You should ask the counselor about:
Their training and experience in treating anxiety disordersTheir basic approach to treatmentThe length of treatmentThe length and frequency of treatment sessionsWhat health insurance is acceptedFee schedules and sliding scale fees to accompany various financial circumstances
Ask your doctor or counselor about lifestyle changes that could help you reduce your anxiety and stress symptoms. Examples may include: DietCaffeine and alcohol useGetting adequate sleepRelaxation and stress management techniquesExercise
What are my chances of recovering from GAD with treatment? Without treatment?Will I have a recurrence of GAD and related conditions? What can I do to prevent these?
National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
Update March 2016. Accessed June 13, 2016.
Generalized anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 1, 2016. Accessed June 13, 2016.
Hahn RK, Reist C, et al.
Psychiatry. Laguna Hills, CA: Current Clinical Strategies Publishing; 2006.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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