Someone who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder is far more likely develop a drug or alcohol addiction. Listed below are signs and symptoms that say you may be suffering from GAD. It is important that if you also suffer from an addiction disorder that you seek out help immediately at a New Jersey Detox facility. Discovery Institute has the top rated drug rehab centers in NJ, and we offer comprehensive and holistic treatment.


  • Great Feelings of Fear and Dread – Generalized anxiety disorder creates a constant experience of fear within those afflicted with the disorder. Usually the feeling of dread is not rational but it is real to the victim nonetheless. To be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder someone must have a state of anxiety that lasts for over six months.
  • Constant Interweaving Anxiety – GAD creates a kind of anxiety that makes the person with the disorder float around from different sources of concern in their minds without a break for peace. There is always something to feel anxious about.
  • Insomnia – Because people with generalized anxiety disorder have a hard time shutting off the anxiety that plagues them, it can also be difficult to quiet the recurring thoughts in their brain. This can lead to an advanced form of insomnia which can, in itself, lead to other complications like memory loss, depressed brain function, unfocused thinking, poor immune system, etc.
  • Can’t Sleep Through The Night – They may wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to return to sleep. People with generalized anxiety disorder suffer from a constant state of near panic so if woken in the night it is almost impossible to not allow those thoughts to creep in.
  • Exhaustion – People with generalized anxiety disorder will often feel extreme fatigue after long periods of anxiety.
  • Shakiness Sometimes generalized anxiety disorder also causes people to shake. This could be due to the amount of adrenaline that anxiety can sometimes cause the body to release.
  • Stomach Problems – Some people who have generalized anxiety disorder suffer from stomach aches or nausea as well as possible ulcers.
  • Other Physical Manifestations of GAD – As someone’s anxiety worsens they may have heart palpitations, tremors, chest pain, or even dizziness.
  • Irritability and Social Strain – A GAD sufferer may be irritable and experience great amounts of tension in their everyday interactions. Not getting a moment of peace can take a toll on someone’s everyday interactions with others. It is hard to stay cheerful and friendly when your brain is a constant stream of itemized worries.
  • Thoughts of Suicide – Some people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder may have suicidal ideation, or thoughts about killing themselves. If someone is considering suicide they should contact the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255, available twenty four hours a day, every day of the week.
  • Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency – People with generalized anxiety disorder are at a higher risk than people who do not suffer from a mental health disorder, to develop a drug or alcohol addiction. When these two disorders exist in the same person at the same time it is called a dual diagnosis. This makes the person’s treatment more complicated because with a dual diagnosis, the person struggling with both generalized anxiety disorder and a chemical dependency on a drug or alcohol must seek out a treatment that includes useful consideration toward both their mental health issues as well as the addiction they have developed. If not treated simultaneously all work towards recovery will be futile. The two disorders will feed off of one another ‘s symptoms and ultimately continue to plague the person.


Discovery InstituteCauses and Risks Associated With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Some people experience generalized anxiety disorder as a chronic disorder. For people like that, the mental health disorder begins in childhood or their teenage years, and it often develops while the person is going through puberty, and continues on as they age into adulthood.

Here are some of the possible reasons someone develops the generalized anxiety disorder:


  • Genetic propensity – Generalized anxiety disorder is a hereditary disorder though it can develop due to environmental reasons. If someone in their family suffers from GAD, then a person is far more likely to develop the disorder at some point in their lives.
  • Imbalanced brain chemistry – The Neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are naturally occurring chemicals in your brain that affect one’s emotional state and stability. When those chemicals become imbalanced that is the root to your mental health disorder.
  • A background of trauma – When someone experiences trauma in their past they may develop generalized anxiety disorder as a kind of coping mechanism for survival tactic.
  • As a woman someone is twice as likely to develop or have generalized anxiety disorder than men are to have it.
  • Substance Abuse – Drug and alcohol use can make the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder worse and in some cases can even trigger the disorder in someone who hasn’t experienced the disorder already.

If anxiety and substance abuse are becoming an uncontrollable part of your life, contact us immediately whether you need a drug rehab center in NJ for yourself or a loved one. We’re here to help.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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