20-year old James is a college student who is working in a part-time job to support his education and participating in extracurricular activities to boost his experiences. While he worries about his academics, his part-time job, and his extracurricular activities, he also worries about something else: he is recently diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder doesn’t just mean being anxious. It’s a disorder that ails people like James with the feeling of excessive worrying for small things or for no reasons at all. People with GAD will often worry about the occurrence of disasters and irrational situations that may most likely not happen, making everyday life full of fear and dread. Because of this, the functionality of people with GAD is impaired, along with their performance in work, relationships, and academics.
Here are some symptoms of GAD:
- Restlessness, excessive worry, tension, and trembling
- Irrational view of problems
- Difficulty in concentration
- Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
- The need to go to the bathroom often
GAD can be diagnosed by a competent medical professional through a series of evaluations. The doctor may ask about a person’s medical history or questions about his current state. The doctor may also perform a physical exam to see the physical illnesses that may be symptoms of GAD.
If the patient reports that the symptoms have impaired his/her daily life and recur in a normal rate, the doctor may diagnose the patient with GAD.
How to treat it?
GAD is a transient mental illness, but making it go away takes time, effort, and the guidance of a medical professional. However, for people such as James, who juggles so many things at hand, physical guidance from a professional may not be an option. Therefore, what kind of treatment is available for them? The answer: online therapy.
Online therapy may be a new field, but it is just another form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that medical professionals like to use in treating GAD. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is an often-used psychotherapy that tries to teach a person with a different and more rational way of thinking to address problems and identify solutions. It tries to negate the distorted way of thinking that anxiety creates, so the patient can lead a healthier way of life. CBT may be done individually or by group, and homework may be assigned to patients in each session. For further information regarding mental health professionals that can provide CBT, you can visit an online therapist vendor like BetterHelp and others for more info.
Moreover, CBT done in-person may be as effective as it is done through online therapy. Studies have also shown that online therapy has proven effective in treating obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders as much these conditions are treated with in-person CBT.
For people like James, online therapy is a favorable method to treat GAD. Not only are they convenient for people who are too busy to go to the offices or hospitals, it may be less expensive than in-person CBT. Some websites and apps advertise lower fees compared to in-person CBT. Online communication may also be more preferable to younger adults like James who use technology often.