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Why do people get generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some people have it, while others don't. When chemicals in the brain are not at a certain level it can cause a person to have GAD. Medications often help with the symptoms because they help the brain chemicals stay at the correct levels.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Worrying is a natural part of life. All of us are predisposed to worrying about important things, like our children and families, our health, or our finances or life choices. Many mental disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), involve these normal tendencies being exaggerated or excessive. Due to certain factors, like genetics or stress, people with GAD worry to extreme levels, even when there is nothing clear to cause it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.