Generalized Anxiety Disorder Quick Facts

About:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive or unrealistic anxiety and worry about everyday things (like health, money, family, or work) that can disrupt social interactions and interfere with work, school, or family life.
  • GAD is a very common affliction, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States every year.
  • It is a chronic disorder that requires a diagnosis and can be treated.

Symptoms:

  • Restlessness (feeling on edge)
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

(Source: DSM-5)

Other symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the back
  • Lightheadedness
  • Severe anxiety
  • Fear
  • Obsessing over thoughts
  • Hypervigilance
  • Unwanted thoughts

Diagnosis:

  • To be diagnosed, an adult must exhibit three of the previous six symptoms (as well as anxiety and worry) for the greater part of six months.
    • A child only has to exhibit one of the symptoms
  • The anxiety and/or physical symptoms must in some way impair important areas of functioning
  • The symptoms can’t be attributed to the physiological effects of a substance or better explained by diagnosis of a different disorder.

Treatment:

  • Therapy (including mindfulness therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • Medications (like antidepressants and anxiolytics)
  • Self-care (physical exercise, relaxation techniques, etc.)

 

More at:

 

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