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- Generalized anxiety disorder facts
- What is anxiety?
- What are the types of anxiety disorders?
- What are anxiety symptoms and signs?
- What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
- How common is generalized anxiety disorder?
- Are other mental health diagnoses associated with generalized anxiety disorder?
- What are causes and risk factors for generalized anxiety disorder?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
- What types of specialists treat generalized anxiety disorder?
- What is the treatment for anxiety?
- What are the side effects of anxiety medications?
- What are complications of generalized anxiety disorder?
- Is it possible to prevent anxiety?
- What is the prognosis of generalized anxiety disorder?
- Are there support groups for those with generalized anxiety disorder?
- Where can people find additional information on generalized anxiety disorder?
Quick GuideGeneralized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
What are causes and risk factors for generalized anxiety disorder?
While there is no single cause of GAD, some people are more at risk for developing anxiety than others. Women tend to develop this condition and most other anxiety disorders more often than men, and individuals with a family history of anxiety and depression are more at risk for having GAD. Younger adults are more likely to have GAD or social anxiety disorder compared to older adults. Other risk factors for developing social anxiety disorder include being of Native-American ethnicity and having a low income. Being of Asian, Hispanic, or black ethnicity, as well as residing in a more populated region, seems to reduce the risk of social anxiety disorder.
Inhibited temperament, parental anxiety, and having family and friends who somehow support avoidant coping mechanisms are risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder. Adolescents who smoke tobacco have been found to be at risk for developing anxiety. In children, girls, particularly those who begin puberty early, seem to be more likely to develop anxiety than their age peers of both genders.
Life stress, involving health problems and family disagreements, has been found to be associated with developing an anxiety disorder. Certain other life stresses put people at risk for developing anxiety, as well. For example, in a study of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and non-Hispanic white individuals, non-race-based discrimination was found to be a risk factor for developing anxiety in each of those groups while race-based discrimination was found to increase the likelihood of only the African-American people in developing anxiety.