Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Mon-Fri 8:00a - 9:00p | Sat-Sun 8:00a - 7:00p
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)


It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially when life is stressful. However, excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that interferes with day-to-day activities may be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Anxiety, I will transform you into something useful and productive. I will not bow down to you.

Jaeda Dewalt


  • Excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities such as work or school performance
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or irritable
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance including difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep



You may have had a general time of major life stress or loss. This is including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through since early childhood. Changes in brain functioning also may play a role in developing disorders (the way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress). GAD has been associated with abnormal functioning of certain nerve cell pathways that connect particular brain regions involved in thinking and emotion. These nerve cell connections depend on chemicals called neurotransmitters that transmit information from one nerve cell to the next. If the pathways that connect particular brain regions do not run efficiently, problems related to mood or anxiety may result.

Biological and Genetic Factors

GAD may be somewhat more likely to occur when it is also present in a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child). In other words, anxiety disorders tend to run in families; you’re more likely to develop social anxiety disorder if your biological (blood) relatives have the mental health condition (inherited traits).

Environmental and Behavioral

The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety and during periods of stress.


Living with a generalized anxiety disorder can be a long-term challenge. It’s possible to develop generalized anxiety disorder as a child or an adult. It most often begins in childhood or adolescence but can begin in adulthood. Treatment often includes a combination of the following options:

Supportive Care

Because symptoms can be related to health problems, it’s important to be in regular/good contact with and be evaluated by a healthcare provider. If symptoms of anxiety are present, your doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose GAD, the doctor may use various tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a mental health professional, who is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.


Therapists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for GAD. Psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder.


Several types of medications are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. The drugs most often used to treat GAD in the short-term (since they can be addictive, are sedating, and can interfere with memory and attention) are from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. They work by decreasing the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as muscle tension and restlessness. Certain antidepressants are also used to treat GAD for longer periods of time. These antidepressants may take a few weeks to start working, but they’re safer and more appropriate for long-term treatment of GAD.


Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed. Keep therapy appointments. Consistency can make a big difference, especially when it comes to taking your medication. Don’t give up if treatment doesn’t work quickly/remind yourself it takes time. Facing your fears can be difficult, but treatment can help you feel like you’re not a hostage to your symptoms.

Get help early. Anxiety, like many other mental health conditions, can be harder to treat if you wait.

Take care of yourself. Get enough rest/sleep, eat healthy, and try to be physically active/exercise every day. Avoid substances even caffeine, as it can make anxiety worse. Don’t forget to celebrate successes.

Break the cycle and by learning more about anxiety. This knowledge can help you understand what you’re feeling, and then you can develop coping strategies to help you respond effectively. Mindfulness strategies may be helpful in learning how to tolerate anxiety and reduce avoidance behaviors; Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or yoga, may help cope with stress while reducing anxiety symptoms.

Reach out. Consider joining a support group to connect with others facing the same problems and who may understand you. Participate in activities by staying involved in work, social and family activities. Socialize (Don’t let worries isolate you from loved ones or enjoyable activities. Social interaction and caring relationships can lessen your worries).

Keep a journal and prioritize issues. Keeping track of your personal life can help you and your mental health provider identify what’s causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better.

Let it go. Practice meditation. Don’t dwell on past concerns. Change what you can and let the rest take its course.

Take action. Work with your therapist on the underlying issues behind your anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Therapists

Brooke Sprowl, LCSW
Brooke Sprowl, LCSW
Clinical Director, Founder, Therapist, & Founder
Gina Myers, LPCC
Gina Myers, LPCC

More Specialties

Abuse & Trauma

When we experience trauma, sometimes we begin to feel like our pain is who we are. It can…

Learn moreLearn more

Addiction & Recovery

Addiction and substance abuse can be ways to avoid facing the painful aspects of life…

Learn moreLearn more

Anger Management

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. We have the power to understand it…

Learn moreLearn more


Anorexia is the third most common chronic…

Learn moreLearn more


Anxiety is a normal part of life, but when anxiety is…

Learn moreLearn more


Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to…

Learn moreLearn more

BDSM & Kink Friendly Therapy

The BDSM and Kink communities face…

Learn moreLearn more

Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder is the most common…

Learn moreLearn more

Bipolar Disorder

We all have ups and downs, but if your highs and lows seem more extreme…

Learn moreLearn more

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder can often…

Learn moreLearn more

Buddhism & Mindfulness Therapy

Buddhism and psychology share in their central…

Learn moreLearn more


Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder…

Learn moreLearn more

Cancer Survivors

Experiencing fear, grief, loneliness and other emotions are normal for cancer survivors…

Learn moreLearn more

Caregiving & Older Adults

Sometimes life demands that we have to care for those we love on an extended basis…

Learn moreLearn more

Child Therapy

Children have unique needs when it comes to counseling. At different ages, we…

Learn moreLearn more

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is experienced often among many individuals. It can be…

Learn moreLearn more

Creatives & Artists (Creative Blocks)

You express the deepest parts of yourself to the world…

Learn moreLearn more

Dating Therapy

Often dating comes with a connection to fantasy and reality colliding together…

Learn moreLearn more

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Therapy

As a graduate of Gallaudet University…

Learn moreLearn more


Sadness is present in everyone’s life to some extent, but when it is accompanied by feeling…

Learn moreLearn more

Divorce & Blended Families

It takes time for blended families to transition successfully…

Learn moreLearn more

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and abusive relationships can happen to anyone; they don’t…

Learn moreLearn more

Dual Diagnosis

At times, overcoming co-occurring disorders can feel impossible and isolating…

Learn moreLearn more

Eating Disorders

People are not defined by labels. An “Eating Disorder” is a part of you that is telling…

Learn moreLearn more

Emotional Eating

Sometimes we turn to food for comfort…

Learn moreLearn more

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time…

Learn moreLearn more

Grief, Loss, & Bereavement

Whether you’ve lost a parent, child, spouse spouse, friend…

Learn moreLearn more


One of the most frustrating things about suffering from Hypochondria or Illness Anxiety…

Learn moreLearn more

Inner Child Work

An aspect of personality in which a part of the self reacts and feels…

Learn moreLearn more

Invisible Illness

There are many aspects that change a person when a chronic illness…

Learn moreLearn more

Learning Disabilities

It’s important to understand the reasons your child may be underachieving…

Learn moreLearn more

LGBTQ+ Therapy

All of us with stigmatized identities face this question daily: how much…

Learn moreLearn more

Life Transitions

Life transitions are always stressful, but sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by…

Learn moreLearn more

Military & Veterans

Military families and Veterans, particularly those from the recent wars…

Learn moreLearn more

Multi-Cultural & Diversity Issues

We understand how important it is to be sensitive to…

Learn moreLearn more

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

People with narcissistic traits often appear…

Learn moreLearn more

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

When you don’t feel in control of your own mind and…

Learn moreLearn more

Older Adults & Aging Therapy

Aging is inevitable. We age with grace or not. We can either buy into the fantasy…

Learn moreLearn more

Panic Disorder

If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, you know how terrifying and debilitating…

Learn moreLearn more


Parenting therapy is here to help you manage these expectations, and the…

Learn moreLearn more

Perinatal & Prenatal Therapy

Therapy can help you navigate the complexities of childbirth…

Learn moreLearn more


One of the most frustrating aspects of phobias is that we know they’re irrational yet we…

Learn moreLearn more

Premarital Therapy

Relationships bring out our best and worst selves, our deepest hopes, and our deepest fears…

Learn moreLearn more

PTSD Therapy

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) develops after you have experienced or witnessed…

Learn moreLearn more

Rape & Sexual Assault

Recovery from rape or assault can seem like a never-ending battle. However painful…

Learn moreLearn more

Relationship Issues & Codependency

Dating can be as intoxicating and exciting as it is painful…

Learn moreLearn more

Self-Esteem Issues

Self-Esteem is an integral part of your overall well-being. We will…

Learn moreLearn more

Self-Harm & Self-Injury

Self-harm is about trauma, emotional dysregulation, and self-hatred. It can feel like…

Learn moreLearn more

Sleep Disorders

When we can’t fall asleep or we awaken frequently…

Learn moreLearn more

Social Anxiety

If you have social anxiety you may long for connection while at the same time…

Learn moreLearn more


Integrating your spirituality into your therapeutic process can be such an…

Learn moreLearn more

Stress Management

Stress is on our lives from simple things to major stressors. The key to stress management…

Learn moreLearn more

Substance Abuse & Addiction

Substance abuse can be a way of avoiding the painful aspects of life, whether fears…

Learn moreLearn more

Teen Therapy

Teenagers have unique needs when it comes to counseling. At different ages, we…

Learn moreLearn more

Therapy for Men

Our culture often has rigid expectations of masculinity which may stifle us from…

Learn moreLearn more

Therapy for Women

Society is still evolving from the strongly patriarchal system that placed…

Learn moreLearn more

Transgender Therapy

Do you need support navigating the process of coming out…

Learn moreLearn more

Young Adults Therapy

We live in a very different time than our parents did…

Learn moreLearn more
Start Healing Today

Contact Us