An Overview of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: DSM-5

Last Update on August 13, 2020 : Published on March 8, 2020

Have you ever heard statements like “I was always patient before, now I am unable to relax constantly!” from your loved ones, family members, or friends?

If I talk in medical terms, it is usual for someone to worry about things like health, money, family problems. But,  people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder worry a lot of other things as well, even if there is no reason to worry. People with GAD are always anxious and believe that everything goes badly. This constant worrying leads to the incapability of performing everyday tasks.

Most of us feel worried when our loved ones experience such situations which causes them to feel anxious. So, this criterion is outlined in DSM- 5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition).

An overview of Generalized Anxiety

GAD is generally treated when the person experiences symptoms for more than six months and has at least three or more symptoms. The common fact is people with General anxiety disorder do not know how to stop the worry-cycle. People with GAD also tend to believe that worry prevents bad things from happening.

People with GAD try to avoid social situations, promotions, and travel, etc. due to their worry. When anxiety goes at a severe level they face difficulty in carrying out the daily simple activities as well.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Unsubstantiated worry is the common symptom of people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder DSM 5. Some of the physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder criteria are:

  • Irritation
  • Edginess
  • Sleeping problems
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Restless
  • Persistent anxiety
  • Overthinking
  • Difficulty in handling certainty
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Trembling
  • Sweating

There may be times when your worries don’t completely consume you, but you still feel anxious when there is no exact reason.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Strategies for a Person experiencing GAD

If a person feels that they are experiencing extreme anxiety, the first step is to consult with a health practitioner. As such professionals are trained to determine if it is GAD or not.

We recommend seeking help as early as possible to make the treatment possibly efficient.

You can also take benefits from self-help and support groups. You can also take support from clergy members or trusted friends.

Exercise, meditation or stress management are also helpful. Take support from the family members to facilitate the recovery.

Check out these recommendations to support someone with anxiety:

  • Be open and welcoming
  • Challenge their thought process
  • Seek professional help
  • Recommend support options
  • Encourage them
  • Celebrate their successes

Strategies for a person experiencing GAD

When to Seek help

Many people struggle with the symptoms of GAD. but, contacting a mental health provider is a courageous step that can help to clarify. Such steps can lead to the creation of a care plan to find relief and regain the senses of well-being.

While you’re deciding to seek help please make a journal of anxiety issues. Also, remember that GAD is different than panic attacks, so do not let this factor stop from seeking help.

Additionally, take note of all the physical symptoms so that you may benefit from talking with a mental health provider.

When to seek help

A word from Calm Sage…

There is no way to predict what will cause someone to develop GAD. but, you can take a few steps to protect your loved ones from its aftermath.

  • Seek help early.
  • Keep track of personal life and identify the causes of stress.
  • Reduce anxiety by properly managing energy and time.
  • Avoid drug and alcohol use.

If you feel like you or your loved ones are experiencing the signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: DSM 5, we strongly recommend you visit your mental health provider before initiating any treatment.

Hope this information helps. Keep Smiling!

Recommended Articles: 

1. Best Foods That Help To Reduce Anxiety
2. Step Into The Light- Acceptance Is The Key
3. Change Your Mindset And Reduce Anxiety

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".


  1. Aayushi Kapoor
    Aayushi Kapoor

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Keep reading!

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