Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect both adults and children. It can cause both emotional and physical symptoms. People may not be aware that physical symptoms are linked to anxiety.
Emotional symptoms of GAD include:
- Excessive ongoing worrying, even when there are no signs of trouble
- Unable to relax
- Hard time concentrating, mind going “blank”
- Feeling tense, edgy, or jumpy
- Irritability or restlessness
- Problems sleeping
Physical symptoms may include:
- Muscle tension
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Frequent urination in adults and bedwetting in children
- Aches and pains
- Gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea, heartburn, and flatulence
- Dry mouth
- Cold, clammy hands
- Difficulty swallowing
- Racing heart
Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed January 13, 2020.
Generalized anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/generalized-anxiety-disorder. Accessed January 13, 2020.
Last reviewed May 2020 by Adrian Preda, MD Last Updated: 7/29/2020