Anxiety can be conceptualized as a normal and adaptive response to a threat that prepares the organism for flight or fight
It is normal to feel anxious from time to time. Ongoing anxiety and worry that are difficult to control and interfere with day to day activities may be a sign of GAD
GAD is a mental disorder characterized by a feeling of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with daily activities and can occur without any trigger. Worry is a pervasive human experience, often unrealistic and the individual may feel more than what it seems.
The ratio of women to men is about 2: 1 and lifetime prevalence is 5- 10 per cent. Among anxiety disorder about 25% of the patients have GAD and it is the most common anxiety disorder among the elderly population
Worry and apprehension – which are difficult to control and more prolonged than the ordinary worries and concerns of healthy people.
Psychological arousal – which may be evident as irritability, poor concentration, poor memory, and sensitivity to voices
Muscle tension – that may be experienced as restlessness, trembling, inability to relax, and frontal or occipital headache
Autonomic hyperactivity – that may be experienced as sweating, palpitation, dry mouth, epigastric discomfort and dizziness.
Hyperventilation – This may lead to dizziness, tingling in the extremities and feeling of shortness of breath.
Sleep disturbances – problem-related to begin or to maintain good sleep
Inability to relax or enjoy, feeling like lumping in the throat etc.
Panic attacks may also occur in GAD. Panic symptoms in GAD are generally precipitated by the uncontrolled escalation of anxiety/ worry rather than occurring spontaneously or acutely in specific situations as in panic disorder.
Individuals with GAD tend to be more concerned with the future; individuals with depressive disorders are more past-oriented.
Mood swings and suicidal ideation are uncommon in GAD.
Social anxiety disorder
Patients with GAD are usually comfortable in social situations and not particularly disturbed by the evaluation by others
Clinical diagnosis is as per the ICD11 or DSM 5 criteria
Symptoms should last for a minimum duration of six months
Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) is used to rate the severity