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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalized anxiety disorder (also known as GAD, or chronic anxiety neurosis) causes people to worry uncontrollably about everyday events and situations at a level that is out of proportion to their severity. 

When faced with stressful situations, we are likely to feel anxious or worried. However, if you have extreme anxiety or worries that negatively impact your life, we recommend seeking treatment.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

As outlined in the DSM-5, generalised anxiety disorder is characterized by having trouble controlling worry on most days over a six-month period and displaying three or more of the following symptoms:

Persistent anxiety or worry about many things that are out of proportion to the impact of the events 

  • Overanalyzing plans and potential outcomes for worst-case scenarios

  • Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t

  • Difficulty coping with uncertainty

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Muscle tension or muscle aches

  • Trembling, feeling twitchy

  • Nervousness, or easy to startle

Most importantly, these symptoms negatively impact functioning in personal, social, or occupational settings. GAD symptoms can overlap with other mood and anxiety disorders, and in many cases, can occur along with other disorders. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, we strongly recommend obtaining an official diagnosis from a psychiatrist who can provide specialized treatment based on your diagnosis.