Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is described as excessive worry about a number of topics. The worries are difficult to control and are often accompanied by distressing physical symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping or muscle tension. People with GAD often describe that their feelings of anxiety started in childhood. They are also more likely to have a family history of anxiety disorders. Individuals with GAD may also be overly concerned with rules and demonstrate perfectionistic behavior. Certain life experiences, such as trauma or chronic illness, can also predispose individuals to GAD.
The worries people with GAD experience are unique to each person. Adults most commonly worry about relationships, work, finances, and health. Unlike adults, children are more likely to worry about natural disasters, school events, and athletic performance.
Most people with GAD wait decades before seeking treatment. Fortunately, effective and evidence-based treatments are available. Research has shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of psychotherapy for GAD. Medications can also be effective in the treatment of GAD. GAD can also affect your relationships, particularly romantic relationships, and couples therapy can be helpful if GAD is having a negative impact on your relationship.
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