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
How is generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed?
Many health-care professionals may help determine the diagnosis and recommend treatment for individuals with GAD; these include licensed mental-health therapists, family physicians, or other primary-care professionals, specialists whom you see for a medical condition, emergency physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, and social workers. If one of these professionals suspects that you have GAD, you will likely undergo an extensive medical interview and physical examination. As part of this examination, you may be asked a series of questions from a standardized questionnaire or self-test to help assess your risk of anxiety. Anxiety may be associated with a number of other medical conditions or can be a side effect of various medications. For this reason, routine laboratory tests are often performed during the initial evaluation to rule out other causes of your symptoms. Occasionally, an X-ray, scan, or other imaging study may be needed. Well-recognized diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder are as follows:
- Excessive anxiety and worry that occurs more days than not for at least six months. The worries are either generalized or are about a number of events or activities (such as work, relationships, or school performance).
- The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the previously described symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past six months).
- The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of other mood or to a thought disorder (such as social phobia, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, etc.), nor is it limited to worry about separation as in separation anxiety disorder or of having a panic attack as in panic disorder.
- The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment an important area of functioning, like work, school, or social activity.
- The illness is not due to the direct physical effects of a substance (like a drug of abuse or a medication) or a general medical condition (like hyperthyroidism) and does not only occur during a mood disorder, psychotic disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder.
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