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General Anxiety Disorder Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health
 

 Health Info A-Z

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

 
 

 What is it?

 

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one type of Anxiety Disorder. GAD involves “excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for a period of at least six months, about a number of events or activities.” It is characterized by “difficulty in controlling worry.”

Adapted from Anxiety Disorders: An Information Guide © 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
 

 Symptoms

 

Signs & symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Cognitive symptoms include thoughts such as:

  • “Something is going to go wrong.”
  • “This worry is going to make me nuts.”


Physical symptoms include:

  • muscle tension
  • inability to relax
  • restlessness, irritability
  • sleep disturbed by worry.


Behavioural symptoms include:

  • avoiding news, newspapers
  • restricting involvement in activities due to excessive worries about what could happen.


Causes & risk factors

It is not known exactly why some people develop an anxiety disorder, although research suggests that various factors may be involved. Like most mental health problems, anxiety disorders appear to be caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors and challenging life experiences.

Adapted from Anxiety Disorders: An Information Guide © 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
 

 Treatment

 

Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Many psychological treatments, such as relaxation training, meditation, biofeedback and stress management, can help with generalized anxiety. Many people with generalized anxiety also benefit from supportive counselling or family therapy. However, research shows that the most effective form of treatment for generalized anxiety is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Medications have also been proven effective, and many people receive CBT and medication in combination.

Adapted from Anxiety Disorders: An Information Guide © 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
 

 Finding Help

 

Finding Help, Treatment and Support

Treatment from CAMH 

Help for Families from CAMH

Ontario Mental Health Helpline (open 24/7 for treatment anywhere in Ontario)​​

 

 Resources

 
CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
CAMH General Information Toronto: 416-595-6111 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
Connex Ontario Help Lines
Queen St.
1001 Queen St. W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1H4
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Toronto, ON
M5S 2S1
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250 College St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1R8
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