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Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect both adults and children. People with GAD often have psychological and physical symptoms. They may visit the doctor many times before they are diagnosed. They often ask the doctor to help them with the problems related to GAD, such as headaches or trouble falling asleep. Reluctance to discuss emotional problems and worries may lead to a delay in the diagnosis.

Psychological symptoms of GAD include:

  • Excessive ongoing worrying, even when there are no signs of trouble
  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulty concentrating, mind going “blank”
  • Feeling tense, edgy, or jumpy
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping

Physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trembling
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • 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
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References:

Anxiety disorders. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml. Update March 2016. Accessed January 13, 2017.
Generalized anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated October 13, 2016. Accessed January 13, 2017.
Last reviewed December 2016 by Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015

 

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