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GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) is a condition characterized by chronic anxiety in which a person's day is filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. Generally developing anywhere from early childhood to middle age, possible symptoms include fatigue, irritability, headaches, and trembling. Possible treatment options include medications and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more than the normal anxiety people experience day to day. It's chronic and fills one's day with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. Having GAD means always anticipating disaster and often worrying excessively about health, money, family, or work. Sometimes, though, the source of the worry is hard to pinpoint. Simply the thought of getting through the day provokes anxiety.
People with GAD can't seem to shake their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. Their worries are accompanied by physical symptoms, especially:
- Muscle tension
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hot flashes.
People with the condition may feel lightheaded or out of breath. They also may feel nauseated or have to go to the bathroom frequently.
Individuals with GAD are often unable to relax, and they may startle more easily than other people. They tend to have difficulty concentrating, too. Often, they have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Unlike people with several other anxiety disorders, people with GAD don't characteristically avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder. When impairment associated with GAD is mild, people with the disorder may be able to function in social settings or on the job. If severe, however, GAD can be debilitating, making it difficult to carry out even the most ordinary daily activities.