GATE Study:

Generalized Anxiety Treatment Evaluation

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by difficulty controlling worry and distressing levels of anxiety about a number of different areas in a person’s life.  People with GAD might worry excessively about accomplishing day-to-day tasks, their performance in school or work, the health and safety of family members or their selves, or many other areas of their lives. The core feature of GAD is that the level of worry and anxiety is greater than the situation warrants, and that the worry and anxiety is very difficult to control.  The severity and difficulty controlling this worry tends to cause great interference in a person’s daily life, their relationships, and their ability to function.    

Individuals suffering from GAD often worry about a number of areas of their life, even when those things are going well because they are also concerned about something going wrong in the future.  As a result, they may have difficulty concentrating because their minds are continually jumping to something they are worried about. Oftentimes, these symptoms of anxiety and worry will be accompanied by periods of irritability, tension, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, feeling easily fatigued and other physical symptoms. 

​About 3% of the adult population in the United States suffers from GAD, and many of those people also suffer from depression or other anxiety disorders.  Symptoms of generalized anxiety may wax and wane throughout a person’s life, but rarely disappear completely without proper treatment.