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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)? Causes And Symptoms

Dec 31, 2021 Health and Fitness

Occasional anxiety can be a normal part of life. But people with generalized anxiety disorder experience persistent and extreme worry out of proportion to the actual likelihood or impact of an anticipated event. 

This chronic anxiety results in physical symptoms which interfere with managing tasks of everyday living to the point of being debilitating. You can also visit https://www.serenity-method.com/generalised-anxiety-disorder to find signs of general anxiety.

Signs & Symptoms

For a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, a person must have experienced excessive anxiety and worry more days than not for at least six months; finds it difficult to control the worry, and the anxiety or worry causes at least three of the following physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge

  • Being easily fatigued 

  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

  • Irritability 

  • Muscle tension that results in trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, and muscle aches or soreness

  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Other physical anxiety symptoms include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, exaggerated startle reflex, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome

In addition, a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder is considered when the anxiety is not related to another mental health condition such as panic attacks, PTSD or social phobia; substance abuse; or a medical condition.

Causes

General anxiety disorder sometimes runs in families, but the exact cause is unknown.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that could contribute to generalized anxiety disorder include:

Gender: Females are twice as likely to experience a generalized anxiety disorder.

Environment: People from developed countries report more experiences with a generalized anxiety disorder than people from underdeveloped countries.

Temperament: Generalized anxiety disorder has been associated with temperaments of inhibition, neuroticism, and harm avoidance.

Environmental factors: Childhood adversities and parental overprotection have been associated with the condition.