Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder (PD) are among the most common mental disorders in the world. They have both similarities and differences. But both of these two mental disorders have a great impact on patients' quality of life (QOL) 【2】, which makes them have negative emotions of daily living.
Generalized anxiety disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) excessively worry about life events, and it's a common chronic anxiety disorder in which patients are in a state of worry, stress, and inability to relax for long periods of time. It can cause a widespread feeling of worry and insecurity to dominate your entire life. It drains your mind, body, and your energy. Also, It interferes with your sleep and makes you exhausted.
The differences in worry and anxiety between GAD and normal anxiety are:
- Excessive (worrying about various things)
- Intrusive (unable to control your worries)
- Persistent (worrying about various things more than 6 months)
- Disruptive (messing up your work, activities, or social life)
Here are the symptoms of anxiety:
01. Mental symptoms:
- Excessive worrying.
- Feeling nervous.
02. Behavioral symptoms:
- Inability to relax, enjoy quiet time, or be alone
- Difficulty in concentrating or focusing on something
- Constantly putting things off
- Avoiding social situations that make you feel anxious
03. Physical symptoms:
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems (trouble falling or staying asleep)
- Panic attacks
- Increased heart rate
Panic disorder has symptoms that are similar to generalized anxiety disorder, such as excessive worrying, but they're all different conditions. Panic disorder is a mental and behavioral disorder, specifically an anxiety disorder characterized by reoccurring unexpected panic attacks.
01. Mental symptoms:
- Fear of losing control and going crazy
- Feelings of unreality about things around you
- Fear of dying
- Excessive worrying
02. Physical symptoms:
- Headache, dizziness
- Chest pain
- Perspiration (Excessive sweating)
- Difficult in breathing
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Paralysis or tingling in the extremities
Panic disorder sufferers usually have a series of intense episodes of extreme anxiety during panic attacks. These attacks typically last about ten minutes, and can be as short-lived as 1–5 minutes, but can last twenty minutes to more than an hour, or until helpful intervention is made. Panic attacks can last up to an hour, and the intensity and symptoms of panic may vary. 【1】
1. “Panic disorder”. NHS. 16 February 2021.
2. ^”Quality of life” (QOL). Wikipedia. 14 August 2021.