• Psychiatry
  • Overview of Generalized Anxiety Disorder:...

Overview of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Epidemiology, Presentation, and Course

Article Abstract
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was defined relatively recently, and the diagnostic criteria arestill being refined. The essential feature of the disorder has changed from persistent anxiety to excessiveworry, and the required symptom duration has changed from 1 month to 6 months. Additionally,exclusion criteria involving permissibility of the diagnosis in children and wording regarding the relationshipof GAD with mood disorders have changed. Nosologic controversies still surround the criteriafor excessive worry, symptom duration, the relationship between GAD and major depressive disorder,and the required number of associated symptoms. Alterations in the criteria have been suggested,but more research is needed on the validity of these proposed changes. Generalized anxiety disorderappears to be highly prevalent. In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV GAD is estimatedto be about 5% and the current prevalence to be about 2% to 3%. The disorder is differentiallyprevalent across gender and ethnic and social groups. The course of GAD is chronic and can be exacerbatedby poor family relationships, comorbid cluster C personality disorders, and comorbid Axis Idisorders. Impairment and suicidal ideation are associated with GAD.’ ‹

J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70(suppl 2):4-9

Volume: 70

Quick Links: Psychiatry

Continue Reading…