Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is more frequent than it may seem. Who does not know someone who always claims to suffer anxiety? In a society where demands are increasingly unreal and unattainable, It is important to know how to distinguish the real from the socially imposed. We also live in the society of immediacy, we want to have it and know everything at the moment, we do not tolerate waiting.

In this way, we also do not tolerate uncertainty, so our worries become the daily bread. So that, excessive worry becomes the central symptom of this harmful disorder. Throughout the article we will discuss what GAD consists of, as well as diagnostic criteria, evaluation and treatments. Let's get started!


  • 1 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • 2 Diagnostic criteria of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • 3 Evaluation of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • 4 Treatment

Generalized anxiety disorder

The main symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is worry. It is an excessive, uncontrollable and permanent concern that may be accompanied by nervousness, muscular tension, restlessness, etc. This concern would move to different areas of everyday life, for example, work, family, friends and economy.

The psychologist Vicente Caballo (2014) states that "people with GAD normally do not care about current and real problems, and its triggers can include almost any future situation that is perceived as potentially threatening and whose solution is valued as uncertain ". As the author points out, it should be noted that in the TAG the concern is not adaptive, but interferes with the subject's routine.

The Sanjay J. Mathew (2004) team, in different experiments, induced states of concern and relaxation in two groups. One of the groups was composed of patients with GAD and the other by control subjects. The results indicated that subjects with GAD had greater gamma electroencephalographic activity in the parietal and temporal regions.

This activity is associated with emotion processing. Thus, it is observed that patients with GAD live emotions more intensely than subjects who do not suffer from this disorder.

Complications associated with GAD

  • Chest pain
  • Asthma.
  • Obvious deterioration of the quality of social life.
  • Marked decrease in satisfaction in life.
  • Abuse of alcohol and other possible substances.
  • Complaints of physical pain.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Thyroid diseases.
  • Mellitus diabetes.
  • Presence of high levels of rigidity and discomfort in relationships with others.
  • Arthritis.
  • Migraine.
  • Low back pain

Diagnostic criteria of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

According to the DSM-V, the diagnostic criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder are as follows:

TO. Excessive anxiety and worry. They occur for more days than have been absent for a minimum of six months.

B. The concern is difficult to control for the person

C. Anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms:

  • Restlessness or feeling of being trapped or with nerves.
  • Easily fatigued.
  • Concentration problems or keeping your mind blank.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleeping problems.

D. Anxiety, worry or physical symptoms cause clinically significant discomfort or social deterioration, labor or other important areas of operation.

E. The alteration cannot be attributed to the physiological effects of a substance or other medical condition.

F. The alteration it is not better explained by another mental disorder.

Evaluation of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The psychologist Vicente Caballo (2014) presents the tools to make a differential diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In this way, we can establish differences with other similar disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Major Depression.

Evaluation of the diagnostic criteria of GAD

  • Interview for anxiety disorders (ADIS-IV).
  • Generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire (GAD-Q-IV).
  • Concern and anxiety questionnaire (WAQ).

Intensity of concerns

  • Concerns questionnaire (PSWQ).

Content of concerns

  • Questionnaire of domains of concern (WDQ).
  • Scale of worries for the elderly revised (WSOA-R).

Meta concern

  • Meta-Concern Questionnaire (MWQ).

Concerns about worry

  • Estala, why worry?

Uncertainty intolerance

  • Uncertainty intolerance scale.


The most common treatment for GAD is the cognitive behavioral therapy. Through this type of therapy, aspects such as relaxation, cognitive restructuring and anxiety control training are worked on. Mindfulness is also presented as a tool for the patient to learn to be in the present. instead of wandering between the past, the future and unreal problems.

On the other hand, pharmacological treatments also exist for GAD. For example, the benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, first-generation tricyclic antidepressants, azapirones, etc. Despite the existence of drugs to treat GAD, it is recommended, first, to see a psychologist. It is important to note that medications are important, but in many cases, the cause of GAD is a poor day-to-day coping.


  • Caballo, V. (2014). Manual of psychopathology and psychological disorders. Madrid: Pyramid.
  • Sanjay J. Mathew, S., Mao, X., Coplan, J., Smith, E., Sackeim, H., Gorman, J and Shungy, D. (2004). Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortical Pathology in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 1119-1121.