According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by:
A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance).
B. The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.
C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms having been present for more days than not for the past 6 months):
Note: Only one item is required in children.
♦ Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
♦ Being easily fatigued
♦ Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
♦ Muscle tension
♦ Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep)
D. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
E. The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition (e.g., hyperthyroidism)
F. The disturbance is not better explained by another mental disorder.
♦ Anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans (age 18+) in a given year [source]
♦ The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth: Irving Kirsch
♦ Prozac: Panacea or Pandora?: Ann Blake Tracey
♦ Blaming the Brain: The Truth About Drugs and Mental Health: Elliot Valenstein
Kessler, R.C., Chiu, W.T., Demler, O., Walters, E.E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comordbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6): 617-27.
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