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  • Generalized anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry. For diagnosis of this disorder, symptoms must last at least six months. This excessive worry often interferes with daily functioning, as individuals suffering GAD typically anticipate disaster, and are overly concerned about everyday matters such as health issues, money, death, family problems, friendship problems, interpersonal relationship problems, or work difficulties. Individuals often exhibit a variety of physical symptoms, including fatigue, fidgeting, headaches, nausea, numbness in hands and feet, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, bouts of difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, trembling, twitching, irritability, agitation, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, hot flashes, and rashes and inability to fully control the anxiety. These symptoms must be consistent and ongoing, persisting at least six months, for a formal diagnosis of GAD to be introduced. In any given year, approximately 6.8 million American adults and two percent of European adults experience GAD. GAD is seen in women twice as much as men.

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