​Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) worry excessively about typical life circumstances such as health, money, work, and family problems.  While most people can have concerns about these things at times, patients with GAD feel that they have constant worry about these situations and that this mental spinning can significantly impact their quality of life
Diagnostic Criteria 

*Excessive anxiety and worry, occurring more days than not for at least 6 months

*The individual finds it difficult to control the worry

*The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three of the following six symptoms

*Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on the edge

*Being easily fatigued

*Difficulty concentrating

*Irritability

*Muscle tension

*Sleep Disturbance

​*The anxiety, worrry or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in important areas of functioning
Symptoms

People with GAD experience chronic, constant, and often unsubstantiated worry.  They worry about common things such as work, family or finances, and these worries often persist throughout the day and disrupt overall functioning.  Physical symptoms can include:  

* Muscle tension

*Gastrointestinal discomfort

*Irritability

*Fatigue

*Restlessness

​*Sleep disruption
Treatment​​

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT can be a very effective treatment for GAD.  This treatment should help the patient better recognize when they are worrying excessively and then teach strategies to stop these worrisome thoughts and replace them with cognitions that are more factual and also less alarming and anxiety provoking.

This strategy may include interventions such as: worry exposure, relaxation training, mindfulness, self-monitoring, and behavioral exposure

Medication:  Typically anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication are prescribed.  These can be useful as a adjunct to therapy to help the patient in managing their worry and physiological symptoms.