5 Things To Avoid If You Suffer With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD as it is more commonly known, is a disorder that millions of people worldwide suffer with. Although it is not preventable, it is treatable. However, there are some things that will actually exacerbate the condition, and therefore should be avoided. Here are five things to avoid if you suffer with GAD.


1. Excessive Amounts of Caffeine

Although millions of us use caffeine to get through the day, it really should be consumed in minimal amounts, if you are an anxiety sufferer. Caffeine increases the heart rate, and therefore increases anxiety, and the likelihood of you having a panic attack. It is fine if you consume it in small amounts, but in general it should be avoided. The same can be said for nicotine.

2. Excessive Amounts of Alcohol

The statistics for people with anxiety problems that go on to have issues with drugs and alcohol are quite alarming, to say the least. The main reason for this is that alcohol increases confidence and lowers inhibitions. Obviously, this makes the sufferer feel better than when they are anxious, so they get caught in a vicious cycle of drinking to feel better. Aside from this, the effects of a hangover will definitely increase your anxiety levels, so excessive amounts should be avoided.

3. Strong Anti Anxiety Medication

Although some people have been prescribed so-called anti anxiety medication, most health care professionals these days will avoid prescribing these tranquiliser type drugs to their patients who have anxiety disorders. The reason for this is that the patient will feel great for a short amount of time, but the dose will need to be repeatedly increased as the body becomes accustomed to low levels. It is because of this that people get hooked. So, it is generally a good idea to avoid these types of drugs, unless your doctor thinks that they are necessary.

4. Excessive Amounts Of Trash Talk About Yourself

This may sound like a silly thing to say. However, one of the biggest problems for people with an anxiety disorder is constantly putting themselves down, or trash talking about themselves. Whilst it may seem strange that we can have such an effect on our own mental health, it is fact. In order to combat this, try thinking about one positive thing each day. You will be surprised by the difference that it makes.

5. Always Avoid Avoidance

Again, this will probably sound like a very strange thing to say. However, avoidance is the worst thing that you can possibly do, if you are suffering with an anxiety disorder of any kind. This is because by avoiding things, your brain thinks that you are being protected from whatever danger you may be presented with. However, this perceived danger is not real, and what you need to do is to go to situations that make you anxious in order to retrain your brain to see that there is no danger at all.

[box type=”note”]Whilst GAD is a horrible disorder to have to suffer with, it is entirely manageable, and over time, highly treatable. It can just take some time to figure out what triggers are bad for you, and what you can do to help yourself through difficult situations.[/box]

Zoe Ellen

I am a writer from the United Kingdom

2 thoughts on “5 Things To Avoid If You Suffer With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • May 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Great advice. I have suffered with GAD since I was younger because of child abuse that I dealt with. You are right that excessive coffee, alcohol and anti- anxiety medicine (xanax, klonopin) only intensify the anxiety over time. Quick relief is not worth the after effects of those drugs. Avoidance is a huge challenge for me and something I am working on constantly. Thanks for the positive suggestions.

  • May 9, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Should be renamed “5 Things you already knew”. Anyone who knows they have GAD will know these very basic level things.


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