What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

Some people don’t have control over their stress and anxiety. Today, we’ll discuss what is generalized anxiety disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment;

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? 

GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) also goes by the name of chronic anxiety neurosis. It’s the uncontrollable anxiety and worrisome feelings towards common situations and occurrences. However, it’s completely different from the normal feelings of anxiety. We all get anxious now and then due to the difficult circumstances of life like finances or relationships.

A person with a GAD condition would experience uncontrollable anxiety about their financial situation many times every day or at the end of every month. The episode could happen without any reason. The person knows that he doesn’t have to worry about it.

According to an estimate, GAD is common among people, roundabout 3% of the US population. People with GAD are aware of their worrisome feelings, but they can’t say what their worrisome is about. They express their feelings like something bad is going to happen and they don’t know how to calm themselves.

The unrealistic and excessive worrisome feelings could be frightening for them and it would disturb their routine life and relationships.

GAD vs. Other Mental Health Conditions

GAD is completely different from other mental health conditions like phobias, depression, and anxiety. People with depression and phobia would worry and feel worried and anxious about a particular thing. However, people with GAD condition would worry about various things for sometime roundabout 6 months or more. They can’t recognize the source of their worrisome feelings.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety 

Some of the main symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are as follows;

  • Feeling like your mind goes blank, and difficult to concentrate
  • Feelings of being on edge, restlessness, and incapability to relax
  • Fearful of making wrong decisions and indecisiveness
  • Difficult to manage uncertain situations
  • Perceiving a situation that is difficult and life-threatening when it isn’t
  • Jumping to the worst-case scenario and overthinking all the solutions and plans
  • Persistent anxious and worrisome feelings about various areas and impacting the event

Physical Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, or nausea
  • Sweating
  • Getting startled or nervousness
  • Twitching and trembling feelings
  • Muscles aches and tension
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Fatigue

The physical symptoms would cause you a lot of stress in the workplace and in your social circles. The worrisome feelings would shift because of the changing concerns and also change over time.

Symptoms in Teenagers/Children

Teenagers and children would worry about the following things;

  • A catastrophic event like nuclear war, or earthquake
  • Punctuality and being on time
  • Safety of family members
  • Sporting events or the performance at school

The child or the teenagers would start;

  • Avoiding the social situations and the schools
  • Having physical complaints and experiencing stomachaches
  • Want a lot of assurances about performance
  • Acquiring approval
  • Limited confidence
  • Taking a lot of time for doing the homework
  • Doing things over and over again in order to make them perfect
  • Perfectionist
  • Anxious feelings to fit in

Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Both genetic and environmental factors play their part in developing the GAD condition. Some of their main factors are as follows;

  • Heart arrhythmias, thyroid problems, and other health conditions
  • Bullying or childhood abuse
  • High usage of tobacco and caffeine, and aggravates the anxiety condition
  • Family/personal illnesses or any other prolonged exposure to a stressful situation
  • Family history of anxiety

A study conducted in 2015 showed that people living with GAD condition experience activation in some areas of the brain with introspective thinking and mental activity when dealing with a situation that would cause worrisome feelings.

According to an estimate, GAD condition is present roundabout 4.6% in men and 7.7% in women.

Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

Some of the main treatment plans for generalized anxiety disorder are as follows;


If your doctor is prescribing you medicines, then it would comprise of a short-term or long-term medication plan. The focus of a short-term medication plan is to relax physical symptoms of anxiety-like stomach cramping or muscle tension. Experts would call them anti-anxiety medicines, and some of them are as follows;

  • Lorazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Alprazolam

The patient is not supposed to take the anti-anxiety medications over a period of time, but they’re highly addictive. Some of the antidepressant medications that work in the long term are as follows;

  • Duloxetine
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Venlafaxine
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Citalopram
  • Buspirone

It takes some time for the medicine to work; and they exhibit side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and dry mouth. If symptoms are creating a disturbance, then you should stop the medicine. However, there is a risk of suicidal thoughts that antidepressants cause among young adults. That’s why you should remain in contact with your doctor to discuss the side effects of the medicines.


CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) comprises talking with your therapist; its focus is to change your behavior and thinking. It is a very effective method of treatment for patients with social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Conclusion: What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is generalized anxiety disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we’ve realized that GAD could badly impact a person’s life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should discuss it with the therapist to work on the treatment plan.