Generalized anxiety disorder

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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by milder anxiety-evoking thoughts than panic disorder, but features "chronic pathological worry". In other words, the worrying continues over an extended period of time. It may or may not cause panic attacks, but is generally milder and more chronic than panic disorder.

Generally, GAD is characterized by lots and lots of diffused anxiety about things. It can be provoked by placing the anxiety into something specific. If that anxiety is resolved, someone with GAD will move onto another worry. This is known as free-floating anxiety.

Those afflicted with GAD experience chronic, intense worry over everything, small and big. Their daily life stress is very high and the worrying is difficult to control. At least 6 months of interference in life is necessary for GAD diagnosis.

Somatic complaints accompany the physiological symptoms that appear in GAD.

Episodes of more intense anxiety may reach level of panic attacks.