The DSM-5 criteria defines GAD as:
- 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 performance).
- The individual finds it difficult to control the worry.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with three (more more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms having been present for more days than not for the past 6 months)
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
- Being easily fatigued.
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
- Muscle tension.
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep 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.
- The disturbance is not due to the physiological effects of a substance or medical condition.
- The disturbance is not better explained by another medical disorder.
Other physical symptoms supporting the diagnosis include trembling, twitching, feeling shaky, muscle aches, soreness, seating, nausea, diarrhea, exaggerated startle response, racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, and numb/tingly extremities.