Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things.

Everyone worries about things like their health, money, family or work once in a while. People with GAD tend to worry about these or other issues a lot - even when there’s no reason to worry. If you always expect the worst and your worrying gets in the way of living your life, you may be suffering from GAD. 

Symptoms of GAD

If you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, you likely know that your anxiety is more intense than the situation calls for, but still you can’t stop these unfounded concerns. While each person may experience symptoms differently, the following are the most common symptoms:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling
  • Twitching
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes
  • Lightheadedness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nausea
  • Urinating often
  • Lump in the throat
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Being easily startled
  • Unable to relax

GAD begins gradually, usually in childhood or adolescence, but can begin in adulthood, too. It is more common in women. It often runs in families.

Diagnosing and Treating GAD

If you experience these symptoms most days and have been experiencing them for the last six months or longer, you should consult a Crozer-Keystone behavioral health specialist. Our psychiatrists and social workers can help determine whether your symptoms are related to GAD or another problem.

Treatment may include psychotherapy, medication or a combination of the two. Some lifestyle changes to reduce stress and avoid stimulating substances may also help.