Generalized Anxiety Disorder | What Is GAD |

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Commonly known as GAD, it occurs to people who tend to worry over situations and events regularly. Life is full of stressors which can get to a person. It is only natural to worry over different occasions in one's life. Stress among employees is an indicator of how work can be a stressor for individuals. However, when anxiety takes a significant toll on our daily activities, it is safe to say we are on the brink of generalized anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder packs a different feeling altogether compared to feeling only anxious. A normal adult can develop stress in their life due to economic hardships. A person diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder will overthink the economic conditions several times a day. The person only knows that there is no use to worry over things that are beyond their control. You cannot fix the economy by worrying, for example.

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What Are the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms?

Signs of generalized anxiety disorder vary from one person to another. Some common symptoms known to appear in individuals include:

  • - Constant worries over other areas that fall out of proportion with the expected outcomes from the event;
  • - Over-obsessing with plans and solutions in case of worst effects;
  • - Hard times dealing with uncertainties;
  • - Lack of control over the worry factor in their lives;
  • - A hard time when concentrating;
  • - Unable to relax;
  • - Constant urges of feeling restless.

Physical GAD Signs and Symptoms

Individuals tend to demonstrate a multitude of physical signs when experiencing bouts of generalized anxiety disorder:

  • - Insomnia;
  • - Fatigue;
  • - Irritability;
  • - Hyperventilating;
  • - Nausea;
  • - Nervousness;
  • - Twitching.
It is common for the everyday worries to take over the life of the individual. Some moments pass when the individual finds themselves worrying over nothing with meaning. The physical symptoms end up affecting mainly how you interact with family, friends, and co-workers.

Symptoms of GAD in Teens

Teenagers also go through bouts of similar symptoms. Some everyday worries evident in the life of children include:

  • - Safety of family members;
  • - Academic performance;
  • - Natural events such as earthquakes;
  • - Punctuality.
A child shows physical symptoms related to general anxiety symptoms, including:

  • - Lacking confidence;
  • - Becoming a perfectionist;
  • - Avoid attending social activities and forums;
  • - Striving to gain approval from others;
  • - Anxious feelings when in company or public;
  • - Frequent headaches, stomach aches, and other complaints.

How Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Self Different From Other Mental Conditions?

Anxiety opens the door to a host of other mental illnesses that affect the mental state. An expert in mental health disorders can quickly differentiate this type of generalized condition from other types of mental health states.

Individuals experiencing depression tend to showcase signs of anxiety. People with a particular phobia tend to worry over one particular thing. The case is way different for people with a generalized anxiety disorder as they tend to worry over various subjects at once. Furthermore, the worrying takes more time that could extend into six months. The individual might never identify the particular mental condition without professional help.

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Compared to other related mental health conditions, the root cause of generalized anxiety disorder remains unclear. The mental generalized anxiety disorder is commonly strongly linked with the following.


Recent research has proven that generalized anxiety disorder can be linked to the genes shared by family members. Similarly, a child can inherit a skin color, farsightedness, or blue eyes; the child carries on with the gene for the generalized anxiety disorder. More studies reveal that over 30% of reported generalized anxiety disorder cases have a link with genetics.

Biological Factors

The brain contains neuro-impulses that are being transmitted in both ways, thus controlling how a person feels. The neuro-impulses contain the chemical composition of serotonin distributed throughout the entire body. When serotonin levels are disrupted in the body, it can lead to bouts of depression and anxiety. Recent studies draw a close link between different brain parts and their control over fear and anxiety.

Temperament Factors

Children diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder tend to display signs of shyness and isolation. It is common to single out such kids since the generalized anxiety disorder impact might be deeper than expected, thus calling for an immediate treatment plan.

Environmental Factors

The beginning of generalized anxiety disorder might be triggered by experiencing traumatic events in one's life. It can be caused by the loss of a dear one or a divorce. Children can also adapt to the disorder by being around family members who showcase tendencies towards a generalized anxiety disorder. For example, if a child grows up in a family where both parents are perfectionists, they will soon follow suit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Diagnosis for GAD Anxiety?

The diagnosis process for generalized anxiety disorder starts with the screening process undertaken by a medical practitioner. The medical practitioner questions your medical history and the length of symptoms experienced. A psychologist can come as a recommendation upon completion of the screening process.

A medical practitioner might suggest a GAD exam for determining the in-depth issues that might necessitate the anxiety. The underlying issues for anxiety have a close link with other diseases such as:

  • Heart disease;
  • Menopause;
  • Thyroid disorders;
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

The tests will help the medical practitioner know whether there are more underlying issues or the substance abuse condition. Most tests can come open by the practitioner that involves:

  • Blood tests for checking hormone status;
  • Urine tests specifically meant for checking any case of substance abuse.

Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder a Mental Illness?

Yes. Generalized anxiety disorder is a type of generalized anxiety condition, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other related phobias. It carries varying symptoms like the rest of the mental health illnesses. Fortunately, it is treatable through the use of psychotherapy or different forms of medication.

How Long Does GAD Last?

Most people with generalized anxiety disorder can experience continuous worrying that lasts up to six months. The more interactions such people make, the worse it gets for them. They become exposed to new triggers that end up elongating the symptom carrying stage.

What Does Generalized Anxiety Disorder Feel Like?

Life with a generalized anxiety disorder is a real challenge for many people. Even though the anxiety is less compared to a panic attack, it lasts for longer. A person that suffers from GAD cannot take control of their lives. Individuals can never be relaxed in any situation. It can prove to be exhausting to an individual.

After going through an episode of anxiety, a person is noticed to be feeling exhausted and drained. The GAD completely wears down your body while interfering with your sleep patterns. A patient starts suffering from insomnia, and this leads to depression. You worry about things normal people worry about, but yours is taken to another level. You start getting exaggerated impressions on people’s comments or reactions about public life. A person can live with a generalized anxiety disorder for a long time without their knowledge.

How Bad Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

GAD has similar symptoms compared to having a panic disorder. A person living with generalized anxiety disorder can prove it to be a long-term challenge. The GAD is accompanied by varying mood changes. The best news is that the condition can change through counseling sessions. Learning new coping skills and adopting a new lifestyle help are other recommendations for coping.

Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatable?

Despite the unknown cause of generalized anxiety disorder, there is a treatment plan that works for different people. Here is a list of some common approaches used by professionals in catering for generalized anxiety disorder.


It involves holding regular sessions with a health expert to talk through issues. The therapy sessions’ main intention of figuring out what lingers in your mind when feeling anxious. Unknowingly to many, our thoughts and behaviors largely influence our daily activities. The approach aims to ensure a change in the way people approach different things in life.

It is a highly considered first therapy treatment session for a myriad of anxiety disorders. Recent research uncovered the CBT program’s potential in offering long-term benefits for reducing anxiety tendencies.

The therapy sessions open up a person with deep conversations behind the individual’s background. Your mental health doctor can help in opening your anxious thoughts. You can adopt controlling styles for your thoughts to avoid becoming anxious when thinking about various life events. You can learn coping techniques when the anxiety episodes start to show up.


It is not routine for a medical practitioner to prescribe drugs for mental health disorders. However, if an individual is having trouble coping with symptoms, they can prescribe some drugs. A doctor can prescribe a short-term treatment plan to a patient if the situation worsens.

Anti-anxiety drugs are commonly used for reducing the harmful episodes for an individual. However, long-term use is not good for your health since it brings outside effects that add to the symptoms.

Finding the Right Therapist

Positive outcomes from the psychotherapy are attributed to working with professional medical practitioners. It would help if you worked with a therapist you feel comfortable opening up to. Despite the cost, you should ensure the therapist is experienced in matching the price. The therapist will offer fair pricing for the sessions. The session goes a long way in understanding your situation and exploring the underlying issues. A proper treatment plan can be availed for the patient or a medication plan.

DrMental Company is part of the growing GAD online website directory services that help individuals learn about highly trained therapists in generalized anxiety disorder. The therapist will work together with you through top-recommended counseling sessions. You will find the proper approach for your case, whether CBT or medication. Furthermore, information on DrMental helps you in making the right decision when it comes to your health.