Generalized Anxiety Crisis: what is it and how to treat it?

Anxiety is a feeling that is part of the human being’s daily life, with which individuals live throughout life. However, did you know that the generalized anxiety crisis is a disorder that can affect people’s daily lives?

It is a disorder that can impact your routine, your work and relationships.

There are several problems that humans face that are related to anxiety: panic syndrome , social phobias , OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder are some examples. In this article, however, we will focus on the generalized anxiety crisis.

Having access to information about this disorder is important to be able to identify when something is not going well and understand how to take care of yourself. It is worth noting that consultation with a psychologist is essential for an adequate diagnosis. Therefore, if you suspect that you are suffering from excessive anxiety , look for a specialized professional.

Read on to find out and learn more about this anxiety disorder!

What is generalized anxiety crisis?

Also known as TAG, generalized anxiety disorder is a disorder that is characterized by excessive concern in relation to various problems and daily activities.

It is a common disorder that makes the person feel distressed all the time and have extreme difficulty in controlling these feelings.

The constant concern can be about several subjects: family, money, work, love relationships, security. In addition, it is much more intense than it should and often does not match reality, that is, there are no obvious reasons to be so anxious.

The generalized anxiety crisis affects adults, but women are twice as likely to suffer from the disorder that may even begin to trigger symptoms in childhood or adolescence.

How do you know if you suffer from a generalized anxiety crisis?

For some people it can be very difficult to identify if the anxiety they live with is healthy, that is, according to normal standards or if it has already worsened to a generalized anxiety crisis.

Remember that it is always important to seek a medical diagnosis, but to find out if something is wrong with you, start by asking the following questions:

  • Do you feel excessively worried and distressed for most of your day?
  • Do you feel that anxiety disturbs you at work?
  • Does anxiety affect your relationships?
  • Do you feel exhausted because of the anxiety that dominates your days?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then it may be time to seek psychological help. Only a specialized professional can make an adequate diagnosis.

Finally, it is worth noting that the healthy anxiety with which all individuals live at some points in life is not uncontrollable. The person can identify what they are feeling and work on the problem. On the other hand, generalized anxiety disorder is beyond the person’s control.

What are the causes of the generalized anxiety crisis?

Unfortunately, the exact causes of generalized anxiety disorder are not fully understood. There are, however, some factors that can contribute to the development of the disorder. Check out some of them below!


If your family has cases of generalized anxiety disorder, the likelihood of developing the disorder is greater. Therefore, hereditary factors must be taken into account. This does not mean that just because your family members had the disorder you will also have it. Genetics is just one of the points that can contribute to the emergence of the problem.


Most cases of generalized anxiety disorder occur in women. Experts believe that a combination of factors such as hormonal changes and stress may be responsible for this difference between men and women.

Childhood trauma

Another risk factor is childhood trauma , which can contribute to the development of generalized anxiety attacks. Therefore, a child who has witnessed or suffered some type of trauma is more likely to suffer from the disorder.

Excessive consumption of substances

Excessive use of drugs or alcohol can also contribute to the development of anxiety-related disorders. Just like cigarette nicotine and caffeine.

External issues

Several environmental factors can affect a person’s life and cause stress , distress and anxiety levels to be high.

Financial problems, unemployment, economic crisis in the country, health problems, loss of a loved one and divorce are some of the examples of situations that can contribute to the emergence of generalized anxiety crises.

In these cases, it may be important to seek psychological help, after all, it is not easy to face moments of crisis. A psychologist can help the individual to recognize and deal with his emotions, not being carried away completely by anxiety.

What are the symptoms of the generalized anxiety crisis?

The main symptom of the generalized anxiety crisis is excessive concern with different spheres of life. Those who have the disorder spend almost all the time anxious, distressed and worried in exorbitant proportions. In reality, there is little or no reason to worry and the person continues to mull over all the problems that he creates in his head.

Another point is that those who suffer from the disorder find it very difficult to control the anxiety and worry they are feeling (even when they realize that everything is going beyond the limits).

In addition, the other physical and psychological symptoms that can affect a person living with generalized anxiety disorder are:

  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Tiredness;
  • Restlessness;
  • Sleep changes;
  • Irritability;
  • Muscle tension;
  • Gastrointestinal problems;
  • Nausea.

How does the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder work?

Remember that if you notice that anxiety has dominated your days and hindered your life, you need to see a doctor to understand the severity of your condition.

The doctor’s assessment of each person’s case will look at some factors. As much as there are no laboratory tests that are able to diagnose anxiety disorders, the doctor can perform some tests in order to rule out the possibility of some physical illnesses that can cause the symptoms.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry outside of reality for more than six months , so the doctor will need to understand the patient’s history. Questions about the intensity and duration of symptoms will guide the diagnosis. In addition, the doctor must also understand what other symptoms are present and how anxiety has affected the patient’s daily life.

In general, therefore, excessive worry and anxiety must be present for more than six months and impact different spheres of the person’s life. In addition, the individual must have three or more symptoms such as tiredness, sleep disorders, muscle tension, restlessness and difficulty concentrating.

What is the treatment for generalized anxiety crisis?

Each person has a picture of the disorder that needs to be analyzed for proper treatment to be applied. Recovery varies greatly depending on the severity level, but most patients improve with treatment that combines medication and psychotherapy.


It is highly recommended that people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder seek psychological help to treat the disease. Through psychotherapy sessions, the individual can experience a process of self – knowledge and learn to deal with their emotions.

The psychologist is a professional specialized in qualified listening , that is, he does not act as an advisor. Unlike your friends and relatives, the psychologist will conduct the sessions so that you can reflect on your behavior patterns, emotional triggers and learn to deal with anxiety and worry in a healthy way.

If you don’t know where and how to find a psychologist that is ideal for your needs, count on Vittude. Click here to find a competent professional and schedule your face-to-face or online sessions!


Another part of the treatment for the generalized anxiety crisis is the medications. Remember, however, that you must follow medical recommendations and in no way take medication on your own.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors are very effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorders. These drugs usually take a few weeks to start taking effect.

Along with antidepressants, therefore, the patient can also take a benzodiazepine, as they help to improve anxiety more immediately.

How to decrease anxiety levels on a daily basis?

As much as it is not possible to totally prevent the generalized anxiety crisis, there are some actions that you can include in your daily life to make it lighter and healthier. That way, you will be taking care of your body and mind to avoid developing the disease or to prevent new crises.

Check out some of these activities below!

Breathing techniques

When we are anxious or very stressed, our breathing becomes shorter, shallow and labored. This way, the person enters a vicious cycle and becomes even more nervous.

Focusing on the breath is important not only in times of intense anxiety, as it is connected with our emotional side. Therefore, by controlling the air entering and leaving, you calm your body and mind and have a better quality of life.

In addition, by working your breathing properly you focus on the present moment and let go of excessive worries a little.

Breathing is a powerful tool. Enjoy it the right way in your day to day and you will soon notice the difference.

Check out some breathing technique tips below!

Square breath

In the square breathing technique you will inhale, exhale and pause between each of these actions. Remember that all steps must be carried out with the same duration. Basically, it works like this:

  • Inhale while you count up to three;
  • Hold the air in your lungs as well while counting to three;
  • Release the air counting to three;
  • Keep out of breath while counting to three.

It is worth pointing out that you can increase the amount of time or always keep the count up to three.

Elongated breathing

The elongated breath is similar to the square, however, you should double the time when you release the air, that is, inhale in three times and exhale in six.

Breathing alternating nostrils

Another simple technique to implement on a daily basis to calm the body and mind is to breathe each time through a nostril. Inhale through one nostril while covering the other with one hand. You must exhale through the nostril that has been capped. Then, the nostril that released the air should pull it, that is, go alternating the order.


Did you know that between 2012 and 2017 in the United States triple the number of adults who practice meditation? That’s what the US National Health Survey revealed . With more and more followers, meditation has been conquering people from all over the world.

Many people still think that meditating means not thinking about anything. In fact, it means not clinging to thoughts. As they arrive, you simply allow them to leave and do not mull over. For those who suffer from excessive anxiety and worry, it is a great way to disconnect and focus on the present moment.

Meditation decreases stress and anxiety, improves immune function, helps with sleep quality, etc.


Yoga is an ancient practice that has numerous benefits for both the body and the mind. While promoting physical conditioning and relieving bodily pain, it is also responsible for reducing stress and anxiety.

This is because in addition to the positions of strength, flexibility and balance, yoga requires that the person concentrate on the movements and be focused on the present moment. Throughout the practice, breathing techniques and meditations can also be performed.

Pleasurable activities

A great way to relieve stress and anxiety during everyday life is by performing activities that are pleasurable. Cooking, dancing, writing, painting, playing a musical instrument! These are some examples of hobbies that you can cultivate to turn your mind off during leisure time.

Balance between personal and professional life

One of the major sources of stress can be work that in more severe cases can trigger serious problems such as burnout . In Brazil, there are already more than 20 million people living with the syndrome. All of this is related to the generalized anxiety crisis.

It is important to be careful with the excessive workload and find a balance between personal and professional life. To do this, set some limits and avoid working overtime when it is not extremely necessary. Limit your time to work and rest.


Did you know that acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has several benefits for mental and physical health? It can be a great way to control stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, it is also beneficial for taking care of your sleep and relieving physical pain in certain parts of the body.

Physical activities

It is already proven by countless studies that practicing physical activities is important for people’s mental and physical health . This is because exercising stimulates the production of serotonin, a substance that is responsible for pleasure and well-being.

There are several ways to exercise: hiking, swimming, zumba, football, etc. There is definitely something you like to do! Include the exercises in your daily life and you will soon begin to feel the benefits.

Why seek help?

It is very common for people to be ashamed to seek psychological help to treat the generalized anxiety crisis. In some cases, due to the lack of information on the subject, people do not even realize that there is treatment for this problem.

After all, how many people do you know who often say, “I’m very anxious!”

However, how many of them have really stopped to think if the problem they are facing is in a healthy anxiety situation or if they are suffering from generalized anxiety disorder?

If you are experiencing difficulties in relation to anxiety or know someone who suffers from this condition, be sure to seek help! It is important to recognize the problem as soon as possible to treat and return to quality of life.

And if you don’t know where to find a trusted psychologist to perform treatment through psychotherapy, get to know Vittude .

Our mission is to democratize access to psychotherapy. We connect psychologists and patients so they can conduct face-to-face or online sessions. It is worth remembering that online sessions tend to have a more accessible value and prevent you from having to travel


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