Skip to content
    Font Size

    Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder -- Symptoms

    What Are the Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

    The hallmark of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is excessive, out-of-control worrying about everyday things. Symptoms include:

    • Persistent fear, sometimes without any obvious cause, that is present everyday
    • Inability to concentrate
    • Muscle tension; muscle aches
    • Diarrhea
    • Eating too little or too much
    • Insomnia
    • Irritability
    • Loss of sex drive

    For school-age children, symptoms include:

    Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Find out more about generalized anxiety disorder:



    Diagnosis and Treatment


    • Fear of being away from the family
    • Refusal to go to school
    • Fear of strangers
    • Fear of falling asleep or having recurrent nightmares
    • Unnecessary worry

    See Your Doctor About Anxiety If:

    • Your anxiety seems irrational or more extreme than the situation warrants.
    • Your anxiety interferes with work or your social life.
    • Low-level anxiety persists for many weeks.
    • Your symptoms suddenly become severe or uncontrollable. You may be experiencing a panic attack.
    • Anxiety is accompanied by weight loss and bulging of the eyes; you may have a thyroid problem.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 27, 2015
    Next Article:

    How has depression entered your life?