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Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder in which people experience persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry that goes on every day, possibly all day. They feel it’s beyond their control. The key feature of GAD is worry and apprehension that is out of proportion to the circumstances. The worries are typically widespread, involve everyday issues like finances, job, relationships and minor aspects of daily life and also have a shifting focus of concern. The affected person finds the worry difficult to control, and this can result in decreased occupational and social functioning. GAD affects women more frequently than men and prevalence rates are high in midlife. The one year prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder in the general population is about 2.5- 8%. The symptoms of anxiety should last for at least a period of 6 months for a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder to be made.

As worry that is excessive and difficult to control people with GAD experience other psychological and somatic symptoms of anxiety. Psychological symptoms include: • Irritability • Increased sensitivity to noise • Poor concentration • Sleep disturbance • Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness Physical symptoms include: • Feeling tired for no reason • Restlessness • Dry mouth • Palpitations • Frequent loose bowel motions • Urinary frequency • Muscle tension & aches • Feeling out of breadth

People with GAD demonstrate a considerable degree of impairment and disability but with right intervention it is possible to cope with excessive worry and attain a better quality of life.

If you feel tense most of the time and have these symptoms which are written above then it’s time to meet any mental health professional such as psychiatrist, clinical psychologist etc to seek treatment which include psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy or both to lead a good life.

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