Additional Information About GAD

Causes of GAD

Some research suggests that GAD may run in families, and it may also grow worse during times of stress. The disorder usually begins at an early age, and symptoms may manifest themselves more slowly than in most other anxiety disorders.

Treatment Options

Treatments for GAD include medications and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

GAD and Other Medical Conditions

Research shows that GAD often coexists with depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders. Other conditions associated with stress, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), often accompany GAD. People with physical symptoms, such as insomnia or headaches, should also tell their doctors about their feelings of worry and tension. This will help the healthcare provider recognize that the person may be suffering from GAD.

Key Facts

GAD affects about 4 million adult Americans and about twice as many women as men.
The condition comes on gradually and can begin at any age, although the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.
It is diagnosed when someone spends at least six months worrying excessively about a number of everyday problems. There is evidence that genes play a modest role in whether a person develops GAD.
GAD is commonly treated with medications. However, it rarely occurs alone -- it is usually accompanied by another anxiety disorder, depression, or substance abuse. So these other conditions must be treated along with GAD.
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