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Conditions InDepth: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is chronic, exaggerated worry and tension that lasts over 6 months or more. Worry is normal but the type with anxiety it happens without known cause or is much more severe than normal. People with this disorder usually expect the worst. They worry excessively about money, health, family, or work, even when there are no signs of trouble. They are unable to relax and often suffer from sleep problems and concentration problems. Many people with GAD also have physical symptoms. This may include fatigue, trembling, muscle tension, headaches, irritability, or hot flashes.

GAD often exists with depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome may often be present with GAD.

REFERENCES:

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.

Facts & statistics. Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Available at: https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics. Accessed January 13, 2020.

Generalized anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114697/Generalized-anxiety-disorder. Accessed January 13, 2020.

Muller JE, Koen L, Stein DJ. Anxiety and medical disorders. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2005;7(4):245-251.

Stern T, Rosenbaum J, et al. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.

Last reviewed May 2020 by Adrian Preda, MD  Last Updated: 7/29/2020