Fast Five Quiz: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Stephen Soreff, MD


September 20, 2018

The specific DSM-5 criteria for generalized anxiety disorder are:

  • Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about numerous events or activities (such as work or school performance). What is important here is the duration; the persistence and dysfunction for longer periods rules out adjustment disorder.

  • The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.

  • The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three (children require only one symptom for diagnosis) of these symptoms:

    • Restlessness or feeling "keyed up" or "on edge"

    • Being easily fatigued

    • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

    • Irritability

    • Muscle tension

    • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

  • The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

  • The disturbance is not attributable to the physiologic effects of a substance (eg, a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition (eg, hyperthyroidism).

  • The disturbance is not better explained by another mental disorder.

For more on anxiety disorders, read here.


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