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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Generalized Anxiety Disorder
      Category : Health Centers > Mental Health (Mental Disorders)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Alternate Names : Chronic Worry, GAD

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Generalized anxiety disorder is also called GAD. With this condition, the individual has chronic, repeated episodes of severe emotional and physical distress. People with this disorder have vague feelings of fear, impending danger, and dread for unknown reasons. In turn, these strong feelings result in physical changes in the body.

What is going on in the body?

People who have chronic anxiety have altered brain activity, which can be seen in brain X-rays, scans, or other studies.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

GAD typically begins in childhood or during the teen years. It can also begin in adulthood. It is more common among women. GAD is not the result of a medical condition, medicine, or a substance use disorder. Experts believe that GAD runs in families. It may also be related to personality factors such as low self-esteem and poor coping skills. Life experiences can play a role too. For example, abuse, violence, and poverty might make someone more prone to developing GAD.


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Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Date Reviewed: 01/16/02

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