An adult must have three or more of the symptoms listed, previously in children though typically defined as school age, so between 6 and about 18 years old, only one symptom is needed for the diagnosis of GID, another criteria is that the anxiety causes impairment in important daily activities like school or work, for example, they might miss deadlines or find it difficult to even go to work because of their symptoms. The symptoms are not attributable to the physiologic effects of drugs or medication or due to a medical condition like hyperthyroidism which creates an excess of thyroid hormone which can sometimes cause symptoms of anxiety and worry. Finally, anxiety isn’t better explained by another mental disorder like social phobia or panic disorder, just like a lot of other mental disorders, it’s unclear exactly why some individuals develop generalized anxiety disorder but it’s not to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors as it seems to run in families, it also has been shown to be twice as prevalent in females than in males. Treating GID like many mental disorders may involve psychotherapy medication or a combination of the two, psychotherapy cognitive behavior therapy has been effective since it teaches the patient to think and behave in different ways and react differently to situations that would usually cause anxiety and prescribe medications like benzodiazepines or antidepressants might be prescribed as well. Benzodiazepines are a type of psychoactive drug that have a relaxing and calming effect, antidepressants might also be prescribed like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs which regulate the serotonin levels in the brain and help elevate mood even though both medications and cognitive behavior therapy have similar effectiveness in the short-term, cognitive behavior therapy has major advantages over medication in the long term due to unwanted effects of the medication like tolerance dependence and withdrawal.

Causes of anxiety disorder

Genetics. Anxiety disorders can run in families. 

Brain chemistry. Some research suggests anxiety disorders may be linked to faulty circuits in the brain that control fear and emotions. 

Environmental stress. This refers to stressful events you have seen or lived through. Life events often linked to anxiety disorders include childhood abuse and neglect, a death of a loved one, or being attacked or seeing violence.  

Drug withdrawal or misuse. Certain drugs may be used to hide or decrease certain anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder often goes hand in hand with alcohol and substance use.

Medical conditions. Some heart, lung, and thyroid conditions can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorders or make anxiety symptoms worse. It’s important to get a full physical exam to rule out other medical conditions when talking to your doctor about anxiety. 

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