What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Everyone feels anxiety now and then — and there can be good reasons why. But in people with GAD, the worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, anxiety can even dominate a person’s thinking so much that they find it hard to do routine things at work or school, socially, and in their relationships. But there are treatments to ease anxiety so it’s not running your life.
How Common Is GAD?
What Are the Symptoms of GAD?
- Excessive, ongoing worry and tension.
- Unrealistic view of problems.
- Restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Tiring easily or being fatigued.
- Increased crankiness or irritability.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Muscle tension or muscle aches and soreness.
How Is GAD Diagnosed?
For someone to be diagnosed with GAD, symptoms must interfere with daily living and be present for more days than not for at least 6 months.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for GAD?
Trauma and stressful events such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, and changing jobs or schools may contribute to GAD. The condition can also worsen when stress feels out of hand. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances (including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine) can also worsen anxiety.