According to the ICD-10 (WHO,1992), the primary symptom of Generalised Anxiety Disorder is “free-floating” anxiety most days for at least several weeks at a time, and usually for several months. This should involve apprehension (worries about future misfortunes, feeling “on edge”, difficulty in concentrating, etc.), motor tension (restless fidgeting, tension headaches, trembling, inability to relax) and autonomic overactivity (lightheadedness, sweating, tachycardia or tachypnoea, epigastric discomfort, dizziness, dry mouth, etc.).
The individual must not meet the full criteria for a depressive episode, phobic anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Standard Anxiety Assessment Measure:
TalkingSpace uses the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment 7 (GAD7) as a guide to the severity of anxiety symptoms where:
0-4 = Remission
5-9 = Mild
10-14 = Moderate
15-21 = Severe
For a printable version of the GAD7 questionnaire, please click here.
If you believe your patient is presenting with GAD, then NICE (CG113, January 2011) recommends a stepped care approach. Click here for the current clinical guidelines.