Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a common form of anxiety which involves frequent worrying and difficulty controlling the worrying. Individuals with this disorder may easily and frequently feel overwhelmed with their daily tasks and may be apprehensive about future events. As opposed to more specific anxiety-related disorders (such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), worries stemming from Generalized Anxiety Disorder can “attach” to a wide variety of topics.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder leads to uncomfortable physical symptoms such as restlessness, muscle tension, and fatigue. Also, individuals with this disorder can expend a significant amount of mental energy worrying and, in turn, can experience concentration problems and sleep disturbance.
Connection with Other Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder often appears with other disorders including Major Depressive Disorder and other anxiety disorders. For some individuals, when symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are high, they can be more prone to experience co-occurring depressive symptoms. Conversely, some individuals can experience more intense anxiety as depressive symptoms increase.
Identifying Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Several different types of mental health providers can diagnose Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As the disorder is quite common, several individuals may present for counseling services or medical services to remedy the symptoms and may be diagnosed through the course of treatment. In some instances, especially in more complex cases, psychological testing can be crucial to analyze the source of the symptoms. As the symptoms can frequently present alongside other psychological symptoms (such as depressive symptoms), it can be especially important to assess the symptoms in different ways. Information from completing self-report measures, participating in interviews, and giving a full psychiatric history can be combined to provide enough data for the analysis. Since the condition can be associated with a broad array of symptoms, individual patterns of the disorder can vary and receiving specific recommendations for treatment (at the end of a psychological evaluation), can be especially helpful.