Welcome ! Generalized Anxiety: Summary

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Definition, signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, GAD. Complete online self-help information for generalized anxiety.A person who suffers from generalized anxiety tends to worry about big and little issues and feels uncomfortable physical symptoms throughout most of the day.

This site will teach you ways to manage many of the symptoms of anxiety, including handling your worries, learning relaxation and breathing skills and the option of using medications. I will not, however, explore the issues in your life that might be causing or increasing your anxiety. Be careful not to simply treat the symptoms and neglect to address some of the stressors that might be influencing them. Talk to friend, family members, your minister or rabbi, or a trained mental health professional, if need be.

The most common worries are the small day-to-day concerns, like arriving on time or completing enough projects during the day. Other prominent concerns are health and illness, work or school performance, money and family.

The physical symptoms can include any of those on the chart below.


Cardiovascular System

  • tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • palpitations (uncomfortable awareness of the heart rate)
  • headaches
  • cold fingers

Musculoskeletal System

  • muscles tense
  • involuntary trembling of the body
  • tension headaches
  • other aches and pains

Central Nervous System

  • apprehensive, aroused and vigilant
  • feeling "on edge," impatient, or irritable
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • poor concentration

Genitourinary System

  • need for frequent urination
  • difficulty becoming sexually aroused or achieving orgasm (women)
  • difficulty maintaining an erection

Gastrointestinal System

  • dry mouth
  • difficulty swallowing
  • "butterflies" in the stomach
  • the gurgling sounds of gas in the intestines
  • colon spasms
  • diarrhea and/or constipation
  • cramp-like pains in the upper stomach

Respiratory System

  • hyperventilation symptoms

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 6). Welcome ! Generalized Anxiety: Summary, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 19 from

Last Updated: June 30, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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