Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common mental help problem that affects 3.1% of the United States population in a given year. People with GAD are worried more days then they are not, and are diagnosed with the disorder if they experience chronic worry for at least 6 months.
People with GAD usually feel keyed up or on edge and have a really hard time controlling their worrying. Most people with GAD have an intolerance to uncertainty, which makes uncertain situations in life difficult to tolerate. Most situations in life are uncertain, so people with GAD find that they get worried by a lot of things, finances, family/friends, and health being the main concerns with their worry.
Chronic worry keeps the sympathetic nervous system, the area in the brain responsible for fight or flight, constantly aroused. This makes it difficult for the GAD sufferer to relax, and consequently, they have a hard time falling asleep or unwinding after a long day.
When someone is diagnosed with GAD, their doctor usually recommends cognitive behavioral therapy in combination with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (antidepressant). Cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the ‘gold standard’ for GAD, and many peer-reviewed studies have found this kind of therapy, in combination with antidepressants to be quite effective at reducing patient’s worry and increase their quality of life. So if you think you have GAD, seek help as soon as you can! This condition is very treatable.
This brings us to the question of whether or not a weighted blanket can help someone with generalized anxiety disorder. Weighted blankets can be tools that help GAD sufferers relax during times of stress, and sleep better at night. The weighted blanket tricks your brain into thinking your body is being hugged, which releases positive feelings in the form of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
The blanket shouldn’t be used as the only treatment modality, but it will likely be an excellent addition to the treatments prescribed by your doctor or mental health professional.
Weighted blankets aren’t a miracle cure for GAD, but most people who feel anxious notice a decrease in negative emotions, and an increase in positive feelings when being covered in a weighted blanket, so it’s definitely worth trying our Dreamhug™ blanket. We offer a 15 sleeps guarantee, so if it doesn’t work for you, we'll issue you a refund. More people experience benefits than those who do not.