Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder with worry about normal, everyday situations such as finance, health and wellbeing in relationships (personal and work related) all lasting longer than six months.


The symptoms of GAD can include but are not limited to difficulty swallowing, rashes, shortness of breath, fidgeting, headaches, tension, nausea, etc. In order for GAD to be ruled as present, the symptoms and feelings must be experiences for at least six months, persistent and ongoing. These symptoms are similar to that of panic disorder and can be experienced all at once or individually, on their own in varying intensities.

GAD can actually be classified by its severity on a scale rating. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the number 1 cause of disability in the workplace in the United States. This could be because of its cause of concern with things such as problems at work such as deadlines, promotions, etc.


It is possible that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a semi-hereditary disorder because the presence of the disorder in the family often rubs off on others. It can be onset at an early age but often becomes chronic but manageable as well. The prolonged use of benzodiazepines can often enhance the symptoms of GAD. Long term use of other substances such as tobacco and alcohol can worsen the disorder as well as caffeine.

This anxiety disorder can also be due to a dysfunctional processing system in the person’s brain linking fear and anxiety.


To treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder, pharmacologic treatments can be prescribed such as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) which stops the intake of the chemical serotonin in the brain. Pregabalin can also be used to treat GAD; it limits the discharge of neurotransmitters. These, among other psychotropic and non-psychotropic drugs can be used to manage GAD. Also, the simple elimination of caffeine can remarkably reduce the severity the symptoms related to Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Although the use of benzodiazepines is found to be helpful, the use of a cognitive-behavioral orientated psychotherapy has been found to be more successful than those drugs.

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