GAD; Anxiety disorder
The main symptom is the almost constant presence of worry or tension, even when there is little or no cause. Worries seem to float from one problem to another, such as family or relationship problems, work issues, money, health, and other problems.
Even when aware that their worries or fears are stronger than needed, a person with GAD still has difficulty controlling them.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems falling or staying asleep, and sleep that is often restless and unsatisfying
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or "on the edge," often becoming startled very easily
Along with the worries and anxieties, a number of physical symptoms may also be present, including muscle tension (shakiness, headaches).
Depression and substance abuse may occur with an anxiety disorder.
Signs and tests
A physical examination and psychological evaluation can rule out other causes of anxiety. The health care provider should rule out physical disorders that may mimic anxiety, as well as symptoms caused by drugs. This process may include different tests.
Review Date: 02/14/2010
Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.