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(GAD) Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria

Regular daily pressures can make you uncomfortable and nervous; you may be concerned about a variety of issues in your daily life, such as family problems, health, or financial status, but people with GAD are trapped in a state of constant stress and worry, where they are stressed out over seemingly insignificant events in their lives for no apparent reason. People with GAD have huge trouble in passing their day as they feel tense about everything is going to fall apart or something worse will happen. So, this hinders their performance in every field of work.

Generalized anxiety disorder can be a big challenge to diagnose, people associate panic attacks with GAD however GAD is different from panic attacks and there are usually no panic attacks linked with GAD.

An assessment of symptom criteria is outlined and briefed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorder 5th edition which is also known as DSM-5, this is the primary step taken by mental health physicians and professionals. The professional lookout for the basic physical and other factors, symptoms of GAD, and then they use the proven diagnostic evaluation to make the diagnosis and rule out other possibilities associated with it.



The DSM-5 summarizes the specific criteria to diagnose a generalized anxiety disorder, this criterion helps the professional to diagnose the right type of anxiety disorder. DSM-5 has the standard set of symptoms to reference when the mental health professionals are treating a patient which helps them to accurately rule out and diagnose and in turn aids them to create a more effective treatment plan.  Following are the set of basic standard criteria of DSM-5:

  • Excessive anxiety and strain, occurring for more days up to six months, about the various set of events happening in their life, maybe related to work, school performance, or social life.
  • Difficulty in controlling and containing the stress or worry.
  • The persistent anxiety and worry they feel must be associated with at least three or more of the following symptoms and should be for at least six months or more, while in the case of children any of the following should be present.
  1. Restlessness or the feeling of being drained out or on edge
  2. Fatigue
  3. Difficulty in concentrating on different things or mind going blank
  4. Irritability
  5. Muscle tension
  • Clinically substantial distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other critical areas of functioning is caused by anxiety, concern, or physical symptoms.
  • The disease is not caused by the physiological effects of a drug, such as a stimulant, or a medical condition, such as hypertension.
  • The disturbance is not better explained by another medical disorder, such as anxiety about having anxiety attacks in panic disorder, negative assessment in social anxiety disorder, separation from attachment figures in separation anxiety disorder, remembrances of tragic incidents in posttraumatic stress disorder, getting fat in anorexia nervosa, physical grumbles in somatic symptom disorder, or having a serious underlying medical condition.


ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases, and it is a system for categorizing diseases and injuries. The International Classification of Diseases (ICDs) was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992, to standardize the procedures for recording and tracking cases of diagnosed diseases around the world, making it easier and more possible to research different diseases, their causes, and potential treatments and remedies. This is the version that is based on ICD-10-CM. In 2015, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the national intervention that is accountable for the use of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, released the clinical alteration CM of the classification for morbidity purposes.


Following are the set of rules based on the ICD-10 for the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder:

  • A period of at least six months marked by high levels of anxiety, concern, and trepidation about everyday occurrences and situations.
  • At least four symptoms should be present from the following list from which at least one should be present from 1-4:
  1. Palpitations or accelerated heartbeat
  2. Sweating
  3. Shaking
  4. Dry mouth (not because of medication or dehydration)
  5. Difficulty in breathing
  6. Feeling of being choked
  7. Discomfort
  8. Nausea
  9. Dizziness or lightheaded
  10. Derealization or De personalization
  11. Fear of losing control or losing apart
  12. Fear of death
  13. Muscles aches
  14. Inability to relax
  15. Difficulty with eating or swallowing
  16. Difficulty in concentrating
  17. Irritability
  18. Insomnia


  • Panic disorder, phobic anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hypochondriacal disorder have no symptoms.

The following are the most regularly used exclusion criteria: not caused by a bodily ailment, such as hyperthyroidism, an organic mental ailment, or a psychoactive substance-related ailment, such as excessive amphetamine-like substance intake or benzodiazepine withdrawal.



GAD and SAD are distinguished from each other based on thought content, people with GAD tend to worry about a different set of areas and may vary from major life issues such as health or finance to minor day-to-day stress that others would never intercept as intense.

Social uncertainties and pressures are not unusual in those with GAD; however, their focus seems to be on an ongoing relationship rather on the fear of assessment.  For example, a person with GAD would worry without any control about the insinuations of a fight with a loved one but a person suffering from social anxiety disorder worries about meeting new people, being detected, or performing in front of others such as a crowd, there thought content typically approaches to negative assessment, negativity, and rejection.


Anxiety disorders affect 3.6% of the worldwide people, according to the WHO, and famous people are not immune to them. The following personalities suffer from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. These singers, actors, athletes, and personalities have been able to not only better manage their anxiety but also continue to prosper in their occupations by comprehending these disorders and their linked symptoms – frequently with the support of specialists:

  • Selena Gomez (Singer)
  • Marcus Morris (Professional basketball player)
  • Lady Gaga (Singer, songwriter, and actress)
  • Ariana Grande (Singer)
  • Gina Rodriguez (Actress)
  • Kim Kardashian West (Reality tv star)
  • Zayn Malik (Singer and songwriter)
  • Emma Stone (Actress)
  • Mardy Fish (Professional Tennis player and Golfer)
  • Kesha (Singer and songwriter)
  • Amanda Seyfried ( Actress)


Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental sickness that not only weakens you from the outside but breaks you from the inside, the excessive worry and tension make your mind think inefficiently and disrupts your progress within your society and career. The more early you grab GAD the more early you can work for its treatment plan or home remedies.