Some research suggests that GAD may run in families, and it may also grow worse during stress. GAD usually begins at an earlier age and symptoms may manifest themselves more slowly than in most other anxiety disorders. Some people with GAD report onset in early adulthood, usually in response to a life stressor. Once GAD develops, it can be chronic, but can be managed, if not all-but-alleviated, with proper controls Symptoms
Generalized anxiety disorder has the following symptoms:
Difficulty controlling worry
Excess anxiety and worry that is out of proportion to the situation most of the time
Excessive sweating, palpitations, shortness of breath, and stomach/intestinal symptoms
Muscle tension -- shakiness, headaches
Restlessness or feeling keyed up or "on the edge"
Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep; or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common condition. The cause of GAD is not known, but biological and psychological factors play a role. Stressful life situations or behavior developed through learning may also contribute to GAD. The disorder may start at any time in life, including childhood. Most people with the disorder report that they have been anxious for as long as they can remember. GAD occurs somewhat more often in women than in men. Neurology
Generalized anxiety disorder has been linked to disrupted functional connectivity of the amygdala and its processing of fear and anxiety. Sensory information enters the amygdala through the nuclei of the basolateral complex (consisting of lateral, basal, and accessory basal nuclei). The basolateral complex processes sensory related fear memories and communicate their threat importance to memory and sensory processing elsewhere in the brain such as the medial prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices. Another area the adjacent central nucleus of the amygdala that controls species-specific fear responses its connections brainstem, hypothalamus, and cerebellum areas. In those with general anxiety disorder these connections functionally seem to be less distinct and there is greater gray matter in the central nucleus. Another difference is that the amygdala areas have decreased connectivity with the insula and cingulate areas that control general stimulus salience while having greater connectivity with the parietal cortex and...