Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

One of the most common forms of anxiety disorders is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Affecting 6.8 million Americans and about twice as many women as men, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, GAD comes on gradually and can begin at any age, though the risk is greatest between childhood and middle age.

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though they realize there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. They have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, startle easily and often experience many troubling physical symptoms (see signs and symptoms)

When their anxiety level is mild, people with GAD can function socially and hold down a job. Although they don’t avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder, people with GAD can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities if their anxiety is severe. Substance abuse, depression and other anxiety disorders often accompany GAD, which rarely occurs alone.

Other common anxiety disorders include Panic Disorder, in which a person experiences sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness or dizziness. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in which people have persistent, upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and use rituals (compulsions) to control the anxiety these thoughts produce. Social Anxiety Disorder which is an intense difficulty controlling anxiety in common social situations. It can be limited to one specific situation, like public speaking or more broad situations, like talking with anyone other than close friends or relatives. People with Social Anxiety usually have a significant fear of being judged or evaluated, and may experience sleep problems, worry days in advance about a situation and have difficulty fulfilling work or school obligations.

Anxiety disorders can be effectively treated. The pressured feeling and churning in the pit of your stomach can be lifted. You can sleep again, enjoy your life again without constant worry, and feel positive again about the future. Take the steps now to move on to a peaceful, less stressful place.

Signs and Symptoms of GAD:

  • Excessive worry about a variety of events or situations.
  • Significant difficulty in controlling the anxiety or worry.
  • Most days feeling: tense, restless or wound-up.
  • Easily becoming fatigued or worn-out.
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Significant tension in the muscles.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Difficulty sleeping.


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Mark Blough, Psy.D


Kathy Blough, Psy.S  
Psychotherapist & Holistic Health Counselor


Address:2350 Washtenaw
Suite 8
Ann Arbor, MI 48104