Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental health condition in which you are frequently worried or anxious about a number of different things. Even when there is no clear cause, you are still not able to control your anxiety.
The right treatment can often improve GAD. You and your health care provider should make a treatment plan that could include talk therapy (psychotherapy), medicine, or both.
Your health care provider may prescribe one or more medicines, including:
When taking medicine for GAD:
Talk therapy takes place with a trained therapist and in a safe place. It helps you learn ways of managing and reducing your anxiety. Some forms of talk therapy can help you understand what causes your anxiety. This allows you to gain better control over it.
Your health care provider can discuss talk therapy options with you. Then you can decide together if it is right for you.
Taking medicine and going to talk therapy can get you started on the road to feeling better. It can also help you take care of your body and relationships. To help improve your condition:
Call your doctor if you:
Hoffmann SG, Smits JA. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. J Clin Psychiatry. 2008;69:621-632.
National Institute of Mental Health. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): When Worry Gets Out of Control. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad/gad-trifold.pdf. Accessed June 27, 2013.
Pollack MH, Kinrys G, Delong H, Vasconcelos e Sa, D, Simon NM. The pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, et al., eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 41.
Taylor CT, Pollack MH, LeBeau RT, Simon NM. Anxiety disorders: panic, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, et al., eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 32.
Updated by: David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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