Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)


We all worry sometimes about stressful things in life. But if you have this disorder, you have extreme, chronic anxiety. You can't control it. You worry about things even when you know you shouldn't. This can make it hard for you to relax and feel happy.


We don't know exactly what causes this disorder to develop. It may involve several parts of your brain. Generalized anxiety disorder can run in families. It tends to start slowly during the teen or young adult years.


The symptoms are wide-ranging. People who have this disorder constantly worry about everyday things. If you're young, you may feel anxious about your grades. You may worry that you or your parents will get sick. You may be scared that a fire or a storm will destroy your home. If you're an adult, you may worry about the health of your children. You may worry about your job. You may stress about money, even if you have plenty of savings. This anxiety can make it hard for you to fall asleep. It can cause you to have aches and pains. You may be irritable and easily startled. You may tremble and sweat, and feel lightheaded. It can be hard for you to concentrate. You may have trouble swallowing, and you may have to go to the bathroom a lot.


Generalized anxiety disorder can be treated with medications. It can also be treated with talk therapy, which can help you learn to control your worry. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.