Anxiety (clinically referred to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder) is identified fundamentally by the presence of excessive anxiety or worry (apprehensive expectation) about a number of events or activities. Anxiety can be associated with muscle tension, trembling, twitching, aches, soreness, and/or feeling shaky. During any 12-month period in the United States, 2.9% of adults (i.e. over 7 million adults in 2015) has anxiety that meets clinical diagnostic criteria. Over the course of a person's life, there is a 9% chance they will at some point meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for anxiety. Anxiety exists only if the below symptoms have occurred more days than not for at least 6 months.
Clinical Diagnostic Criteria
(Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
- 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 performances).
- The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.
- 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)
- The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.