by Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD | Program Co-Director


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a common disorder impacting roughly 3-5% of the population and is characterized by constant, excessive worry and anxiety about everyday things, such as the health of family members or work/school performance which may shift from one area to another. The duration, frequency, or level of anxiety is out of proportion with the likelihood or actual impact of the feared event. People with GAD have difficulty controlling their worry, and often experience symptoms such as muscle tension, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, disturbed sleep, fatigue and other physical symptoms.

Many individuals with GAD report living with anxiety for most of their life. About half report onset in childhood or adolescence, however, onset during adulthood is also common. Anxiety can continue throughout one’s life, often fluctuating depending on stressors that may come up.