Generalized Anxiety Disorder: What Is It?

Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is a condition characterized by pervasive worry. It takes the form of undue distress about a variety of everyday things beyond the scope of more specific anxieties and phobias. In children the anxiety is often focused on performance in school or sports and may drive extreme studying or practicing. A key distinguishing factor in GAD is that the anxiety is focused not on exterior triggers like social interaction or contamination, but internally

These anxieties may make a child with GAD feel restless, fatigued, tense, or irritable, and she may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. GAD rarely emerges before adolescence, and is more prevalent in girls than boys. The anxiety impacts a child’s quality of life and the ability to participate in social activities and school.