Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What Is It?

In generalized anxiety disorder, a person has frequent or nearly constant, nagging feelings of worry or anxiety. These feelings are either unusually intense or out of proportion to the real troubles and dangers of the person's everyday life.

The disorder is defined as persistent worry for more days than not, for at least several months. In some cases, a person with generalized anxiety disorder feels he or she has always been a worrier, even since childhood or adolescence. In other cases, the anxiety may be triggered by a crisis or a period of stress, such as a job loss, a family illness or the death of a relative. The crisis or stress may have ended, but an unexplained feeling of anxiety may last months or years.

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