Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when you feel worried and stressed
about many everyday events and activities. Often the things you are worried
about are small or not important. This type of worry disrupts your life most
days. Everyone gets worried or anxious sometimes. But people with generalized
anxiety disorder experience more than normal everyday worries.
Many people who have generalized anxiety disorder have physical symptoms,
such as headaches or being tired all the time.
If you have the sudden onset of four or more of the following symptoms, you may be having a panic attack:
Sudden high anxiety with or without a cause
A "smothering" sensation or shortness of breath
A feeling of choking
Chest pain or discomfort
Dizziness or faintness
A sense of unreality
A fear of going crazy or losing control
A fear of dying
Numbness or tingling
Anyone can get
generalized anxiety disorder at any age. But it usually starts when you are a
child or teenager. Most people with generalized anxiety disorder have felt
nervous or anxious as long as they can remember. Women are
twice as likely as men to have the problem.
cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not known. Some studies show that it
might be passed through the family (genetic).
Some problems such
hyperthyroidism can cause generalized anxiety
Some medicines can cause worry and stress or make your
stress worse, such as medicines with amphetamines (Ritalin) or too much
caffeine. Illegal drugs such as cocaine can also cause these symptoms. Be sure
to talk with your doctor about any medicines you are taking.
What are the symptoms?
People who have
generalized anxiety disorder get worried and stressed about many things almost
every day. They have a hard time controlling their worry. Adults with this
problem often worry about money, family, health, or work. Children with this
problem often worry about how well they can do an activity, such as school or
You might also have physical symptoms, such as:
Feeling tired or irritable, or having a hard time
Having headaches or muscle aches.
a hard time swallowing.
Feeling shaky, sweating, or having hot
Feeling lightheaded, sick to your stomach, or out of
Having to go to the bathroom often.
like you can't relax, or being startled easily.