Treatment of Somatic Symptoms in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
March 01, 2007
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive or unrealistic anxiety and worries about life circumstances. In the general population, the prevalence of GAD is 2% to 5%. It is the most frequent anxiety disorder seen in primary care, where 22% of patients complain of anxiety problems.1 DSM-IV lists 6 somatic symptoms associated with GAD: restlessness, increased fatigability, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. These symptoms may present with hyperarousal, hypervigilance, and heightened muscle tension; autonomic symptoms are milder than in other anxiety disorders and can be absent.