Health Information

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What is generalized anxiety disorder?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes its sufferers chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that seem to have no substantial cause. Persons with generalized anxiety disorder often worry excessively about health, money, family, or work, and continually anticipate disaster.

Although GAD may be accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or another anxiety disorder, impairment is usually mild. Generally, persons with this disorder do not:
  • feel too restricted in social settings.
  • feel too restricted on the job.
  • avoid certain situations.

Who is affected by GAD?

GAD begins gradually, usually in childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood, too. It is more commonly seen in women and often occurs in relatives of affected persons. Each year, 2.8 percent of persons ages 18 and 54 are affected by GAD.

Treatment for generalized anxiety disorder:

Specific treatment for GAD will be determined by your physician based on:
  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference