The Atlanta Center for Medical Research is currently seeking adult volunteers to participate in a clinical study of generalized anxiety disorder.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. People with the disorder often expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern. GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms.
The ADAA provides symptoms for GAD, which includes:
- Anticipating disaster
- Being overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues
- Restlessness or feeling 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 ADAA explains that GAD affects 6.8 million adults in any given year and women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin at any age, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. The exact cause of GAD is unknown, but there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences play a role.
Ongoing research is needed to better understand what happens in the brain to cause mental illness and to learn more about how the brain reacts while feeling anxiety.