The generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic recurring psychological condition that causes the person suffering exaggerated feeling of anxiety, fear or constant concern generated unjustified reasons or for no apparent reason, usually associated with one or more symptoms.

Symptoms of generalized childhood

  • Tachycardia and feeling of palpitations.
  • Sweating
  • Irritability.
  • Redness of the face.
  • Trembling in the hands.
  • Agitation.
  • Muscle aches, especially in the neck, shoulders and back.
  • Headache or headache.
  • Muscle contracture.
  • Sleep disorders: conciliation insomnia (the person finds it difficult to fall asleep) and maintenance (the person manages to fall asleep, but wakes up easily several times).
  • Nervous language
  • Sickness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feeling of suffocation

Who Gets Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

This alteration is more frequent in women than in men and can occur at any age, even in children, but it is more common in adults, because the adult individual has more responsibilities and knowledge of the consequences generated by any type of situation, which generates more anguish and concern.

When generalized anxiety disorder occurs , the person worries without apparent causes about their social, family, economic, work environment, or their security situation, among others. Even when all aspects of his life are stable, the person is distressed because his state of well-being changes, even if there is no indication that this is going to happen.

In children, concerns are focused depending on their age, school, health and longevity of their relatives, natural disasters, etc.

What are the causes of generalized anxiety?

At present the exact cause of its development is not known, although some studies indicate that there may be genetic causes (relatives with anxiety disorder, depression and psychiatric illnesses) and acquired causes (traumatic or transcendent events in the life of the person).

In this same aspect, other theories indicate that this behavior develops from childhood, in infants whose upbringing has been very strict, growing up with a fearful and distressing personality that generates fear of failure and mistakes. However, in most cases there is no justifiable reason for it.

Personality and generalized anxiety disorder

The personality of patients with generalized anxiety is characterized by being particularly strict, nervous, meticulous, controlling, perfectionist, and restrained.

When they make a mistake they rarely admit it and become irritable. This behavior generates rejection within the person’s social environment and, many times, it can be transmitted to their children, making them cautious and fearful.

Impact on social life

Generally, individuals with generalized anxiety disorder have problems in their work and in their family environment since their condition prevents the normal development of their daily activities, due to both the joint and muscle pain they suffer, as well as the state of nervousness and irritability constant that causes inappropriate behaviors that impact their decisions and interpersonal relationships. In such cases, most of the time the individual is classified as nervous, distressed or exaggerated.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorder or insomnia is a characteristic symptom in people with generalized anxiety disorder It can occur in the early hours of the night, causing the person to be unable to fall asleep due to anxious thoughts and concern about everyday events. This type of insomnia is called “conciliation”.

On the other hand, patients with generalized anxiety once they fall asleep can easily wake up repeatedly or wake up very early in the morning without being able to sleep again. This type of insomnia is known by the name “maintenance.”

Possible complications

People with generalized anxiety disorder can develop cardiovascular problems associated with persistent tachycardia and elevated levels of hormones that are released in stress states called catecholamines. They can also generate psychiatric pathologies such as depression, panic attacks and personality disorders.


Generalized anxiety disorder therapy is based on psychological and behavioral therapy, as well as medications that reduce anxiety (called anxiolytics) and antidepressants that are prescribed by the psychiatrist.

Anxiety and worry are normal behaviors in all individuals when there are reasons that generate them, but when these sensations appear without a really justifiable cause and on a recurring basis, it is necessary for the person to go to the doctor in order to seek psychological support to avoid future complications.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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