Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalized anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety and worries about several events or activities for most days during at least six months. The worry is difficult to control.

What are the symptoms of GAD?

Symptoms include apprehension (worries about future misfortunes), restlessness, inability to relax, trembling, sweating, increase in heart rate and respiratory rate, dry mouth, difficulty in concentration, irritability, fatigue, muscular tensions, and difficulty in sleeping, particularly during early hours on a bed, fear of unknown valid reason. The affected persons are apprehensive about external environmental events.

How common is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

It is a common psychiatric illness affecting 4 to 8 in 100 persons.

Who gets affected more by it?

Women are affected about twice as high as those men

Is it seen in children?

Anxiety disorders are the most common disorders in children and adolescents, affecting 10 to 20 of 100. It affects up to 7 in 100 children and adolescents.

What is the treatment?

Outpatient treatment is usually sufficient for most persons suffering from GAD. Cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT), yoga, relaxation therapy, and Supportive Psychotherapy are the evidence-based psychotherapies given to these persons. Drug treatment of GAD includes antidepressants, which also show antianxiety effects, and sedatives for the first few days for adequate refreshing sleep. Medication is required as long as 6-12 months of treatment, and some need long-term treatment to maintain the effects.