How Much Do You Know About Generalized Anxiety DIsorder?

Amanda Page | Feb 28, 2013

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Which of the following is a diagnostic criteria for GAD?
  1. 1 Excessive worrying everyday for at least six months.
  2. 0 Excessive worrying three days a week for at least six months.
  3. 0 Excessive worrying everyday for three months.
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Everyone worries at some time or another. You may worry about an upcoming job interview, worry about your child’s health, a fight you had with your spouse, finances or health. For most people, these worries do not interfere with their life. They can put their worries into perspective and move on when the situation is resolved. But for those with GAD, worries are excessive. According to the diagnostic criteria, a person with GAD worries about problems excessively, everyday for at least six months.

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  1. Which of the following is a diagnostic criteria for GAD?

    Correct Answer: Excessive worrying everyday for at least six months.

    Everyone worries at some time or another. You may worry about an upcoming job interview, worry about your child’s health, a fight you had with your spouse, finances or health. For most people, these worries do not interfere with their life. They can put their worries into perspective and move on when the situation is resolved. But for those with GAD, worries are excessive. According to the diagnostic criteria, a person with GAD worries about problems excessively, everyday for at least six months.

  2. True or False: GAD is incurable.

    Correct Answer: True

    GAD is considered to be a chronic condition. Many people diagnosed with GAD report they have felt anxious and experienced periods of excessive worry most of their life, often beginning in [childhood](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/1443/118459/childhood-disorder). Symptoms of GAD can come and go, usually worsening during periods of [stress](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/manage-13118-108.html) in your life. While this is considered a chronic and uncurable condition, there are treatments that can help you manage your [symptoms](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/general/introduction/symptoms?ic=4114) and learn to process information differently and live a normal life.

  3. Which of the following are physical symptoms of GAD?

    Correct Answer: dizziness, heart palpitations, chest pains, and shortness of breath

    Anxiety disorders can cause a number of [physical symptoms](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/1443/140709/physical-symptoms). You may feel weak, [dizzy](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/1443/140996/dizziness-anxiety), run-down. You may experience [heart palpitations](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/22705/68438/heart-palpitations)[chest pains](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/panic-264581-5.html) or [shortness of breath](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/22705/73606/symptoms-shortness)during times of high anxiety. Those with GAD often worry these symptoms signal a serious health condition and may be diagnosed with anxiety only after seeking medical help for the physical symptoms. If you are experiencing physical symptoms, it is always a good idea to talk with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions. If there are not, you can focus on treating your anxiety.

  4. Which of the following is a common symptom of GAD?

    Correct Answer: all of the above

    Excessive worrying is one of the main symptoms of GAD, other symptoms include: * Perfectionism * Imagining the worst possible outcome to a given situation * [Problems sleeping](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/33722/55901/anxiety-disorders) * [Physical symptoms](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/1443/140709/physical-symptoms) such as frequent headaches, [stomachaches](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/22705/74468/symptoms-problems) or muscle soreness * Feeling as if you have a [lump in your throat](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/157571/140658/hystericus-lump?ic=506011) * [Fatigue](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/22705/69011/dealling-symptoms) * Trouble concentrating * Irritability * Being easily startled

  5. True or False: GAD is often genetic

    Correct Answer: True

    While the exact cause of GAD and other anxiety disorders is still being explored, we now understand that anxiety disorders often run in families and they are biological in nature, that is they are not just an “emotional” illness but there are specific brain processes that are present in those with anxiety disorders. Some of the risk factors for developing GAD include your genetics and brain chemistry but may also include life experiences and personality as well.

  6. Which is the most effective course of treatment for GAD?

    Correct Answer: Cognitive behavioral therapy

    Treatment for GAD, much like other anxiety disorders, often includes a combination of[medication](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/find-drug.html?ic=4017) and therapy. [Cognitive behavioral therapy](http://www.healthcentral.com/anxiety/c/1443/149845/anxiety-behavioral) (CBT) has been found to be more effective, in the long-term, in treating GAD. Most courses of CBT last from 12 to 16 weeks, although some people may require a longer course of treatment. Some people choose to use medication along with this therapy, especially during the early stages of treatment, so they are better able to focus on the therapy. You can work with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you. While treatment does not “cure” GAD, it does help you learn new ways of behaving and thinking so you can better manage your worrying and feelings of anxiety.