GENERAL ANXIETY DISORDER
General anxiety disorder is characterized by
excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday things. It can
be associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders such as Asperger's
syndrome and autism,
where anxiety may reach a point that is officially diagnosed as
General anxiety disorder.
The frequency, intensity, and duration of the
worry are disproportionate to the actual source of worry, and such
worry often interferes with daily functioning. It affects approximately
5% of the total population, yet is more prevalent in women and much
more prevalent in youth, where 12% to 20% are affected. People with
general anxiety disorder often have a variety of symptoms such as
tension, being startle easily, restlessness, hyperactivity, worrying,
fear, and rumination.
In youth general anxiety disorder often leads too lower levels of
social supports, academic underachievement, underemployment, substance
use and high probability of obtaining other psychiatric disorders.
General anxiety disorder differs from other anxiety disorders in
the sense that there is no clear stimulus that elicits anxiety or
was associated with how it began. It also lacks the clear avoidance
and escape behaviors of phobias and unlike panic attacks associated
with most disorders, general anxiety disorder stays fairly moderate
in its anxiety levels.
Diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-Text
Revision (DSM-IV-TR) looks at the following factors in establishing
Excessive anxiety and worry
The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
• Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
• Being easily fatigued
• Muscle tension
• Sleep disturbance
• Excessive sweating.
Causes of General Anxiety Disorder
Some research suggests that general anxiety disorder
may run in families, and it may also grow worse during stress. general
anxiety disorder usually begins at an earlier age and symptoms may
manifest themselves more slowly than in most other anxiety disorders.
Some people with general anxiety disorder report onset in early
adulthood, usually in response to a life stressor. Once general
anxiety disorder develops, it is chronic.
Treatment of General Anxiety Disorder
Treatments for general anxiety disorder may include
medications and Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy. A combination of the two has proved the
most effective in alleviating symptoms; medication alone may reduce
some anxiety but will not eliminate it entirely. Medications called
SSRIs and SNRIs are commonly used to treat general anxiety disorder.
Benzodiazepines are sometimes used in the short-term in order to
alleviate extreme cases of anxiety, but they are not safe for continuous
use because of the high risk of dependency.
to read the stress management fact sheet for adults on the autism spectrum.
to read the fact sheet for adults on the autism spectrum for managing
handling panic attacks.
Click here for the full
range of Asperger's and autism fact sheets at www.autism-help.org
to read an interview with Dr June Groden on reducing stress and
anxiety in autitistic children
This autism fact sheet is licensed under the
Free Documentation. It is derivative of an autism and Asperger's
syndrome-related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org