How common is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Approximately 5 percent of people will develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) during their lifetime.

It appears that some people are genetically predisposed to developing the disorder. Women are more likely to have GAD than men.

Is GAD a chronic condition?

Yes. Many individuals with GAD report that they felt anxious and nervous all their lives. Over half of the people that come for treatment report their worry beginning in childhood or adolescence. However, it is not uncommon to begin until after age 20. GAD usually has a fluctuating course, worsening during times of stress.

How can I be sure that my physical symptoms are not really something medical that just hasn’t been found yet?

This is a natural concern for individuals with GAD and fits into the theme of excessive worry. This worry is best addressed by establishing a relationship with a physician that you feel is listening to your complaints and thoughtfully tailoring your medical work-up to your specific risks for having certain medical problems. An excessive and unreasonable series of tests and procedures is not in your best interest.