Generalized Anxiety Disorder

All of us worry about things like health, money, or family problems at one time or another. But people with GAD are extremely worried about these and many other things, even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. They may be very anxious about just getting through the day. They think things will always go badly. At times, worrying keeps people with GAD from doing everyday tasks.

This is a list of common symptoms. People with GAD:

* worry very much about everyday things for at least six months, even if there is little or no reason to worry about them
* can't control their constant worries
* know that they worry much more than they should
* can't relax
* have a hard time concentrating
* are easily startled
* have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

- Common body symptoms are:

o feeling tired for no reason
o headaches
o muscle tension and aches
o having a hard time swallowing
o trembling or twitching
o being irritable
o sweating
o nausea
o feeling lightheaded
o feeling out of breath
o having to go to the bathroom a lot
o hot flashes

When does Generalized Anxiety Disorder start?

GAD develops slowly. It often starts during the time between childhood and middle age. Symptoms may get better or worse at different times, and often are worse during times of stress.

People with GAD may visit a doctor many times before they find out they have this disorder. They ask their doctors to help them with the signs of GAD, such as headaches or trouble falling asleep, but don't always get the help they need right away. It may take doctors some time to be sure that a person has GAD instead of something else.

Is there help?

There is help for people with GAD. There are many therapeutic approaches that can reduce the frequency and intensity of GAD symptoms. The most effective approaches are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Relaxation Training, and Mindfulness Training. Together, these approaches can help to change the thought-patterns and habits that cause anxiety.

Getting Help for Anxiety