Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Generalized anxiety disorder facts
- What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
- What are the different types of anxiety?
- How common is generalized anxiety disorder?
- What are causes and risk factors for anxiety?
- What are anxiety symptoms and signs?
- How is generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for anxiety?
- What are the side effects of anxiety medications?
- What are complications of generalized anxiety disorder?
- Is it possible to prevent anxiety?
- What is the prognosis of generalized anxiety disorder?
- Are there support groups for those with generalized anxiety disorder?
- Where can people find additional information on generalized anxiety disorder?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mood disorder that is characterized by multiple and/or nonspecific worries. The fear associated with GAD interferes with the person's ability to sleep, think, or function in some other way. Symptoms of anxiety are even described in the word itself. Specifically, the word anxiety comes from the Latin word anxietas, which means to choke or upset. The symptoms therefore include emotional or behavioral symptoms as well as ways of thinking that are responses to feeling as if one is in danger.
What are the different types of anxiety?
Anxiety can range from the constructive kind that elevates performance as with mild performance anxiety, to disorders of anxiety, in that the individual suffers from a level of fear, angst, or dread that interferes with his or her ability to function. The most common anxiety disorders are specific phobias. Other anxiety disorders include separation anxiety disorder in children, selective mutism, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. While obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) used to be classified as an anxiety disorder, it is now grouped with other compulsive disorders, like hoarding and trichotillomania (hair pulling). Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been reclassified such that it is considered a trauma-related disorder instead of an anxiety disorder.
How common is generalized anxiety disorder?
GAD is quite common. In fact, it is the most common anxiety disorder seen by most primary-care doctors. About 5% of people will develop GAD over the course of their lifetime. That translates to millions of GAD sufferers. This illness usually begins when individuals are in their early 20s. Panic and generalized anxiety occur in about 0.7% of children in any one-year period and up to 20% over the course of childhood.
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