Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Ann Intern Med. 2019 Apr 2;170(7):ITC49-ITC64. doi: 10.7326/AITC201904020.


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common and disabling illness that is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Patients with GAD are at increased risk for suicide as well as cardiovascular-related events and death. Most patients can be diagnosed and managed by primary care physicians. Symptoms include chronic, pervasive anxiety and worry accompanied by nonspecific physical and psychological symptoms (restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbances). Effective treatments include psychotherapy (often cognitive behavioral therapy) and pharmacotherapy, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / prevention & control
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • United States


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors