Other Facts About Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Other Medical Conditions

Research shows that generalized anxiety disorder often coexists with depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders. Other conditions associated with stress, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), often accompany generalized anxiety disorder. 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 generalized anxiety disorder.

Key Facts on Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 4 million adult Americans and about twice as many women as men.
Generalized anxiety disorder comes on gradually and can begin at any time in life, although the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.
The disorder 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 the development of generalized anxiety disorder.
The condition is commonly treated with medications. However, generalized anxiety disorder rarely occurs alone -- it is usually accompanied by another anxiety disorder, depression, or substance abuse. So these other conditions must be treated along with the generalized anxiety disorder.
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