Generalized Anxiety Disorder



Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder marked by chronic, exaggerated worrying and anxiety about everyday life. The worry is so severe that it interferes with a person's ability to live his or her life.


Anxiety may be caused by:
  • An abnormal neurotransmitter system
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Developmental factors
  • Psychological factors

Risk Factors

Anxiety is more common in females. Factors that may increase the risk of GAD include:
  • Family members with an anxiety disorder
  • Increase in stress
  • Exposure to physical or emotional trauma
  • Unemployment, poverty
  • Drug abuse
  • Medical condition or disability
  • History of self-harm as a teenager, with or without suicidal intent


Symptoms of GAD usually develop slowly. People with GAD often have both psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety.Psychological symptoms include:
  • Excessive ongoing worrying and tension
  • Feeling tense or edgy
  • Irritability, overly stressed
  • Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness
Physical symptoms may include:
  • Muscle tension
  • Lightheadedness
  • Trembling
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Choking sensation
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling
Symptoms of Anxiety
Physiological effects of anxiety
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
People with GAD often have other anxiety disorders, depression , and/or alcohol abuse or drug abuse.

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