Diagnosis of Anxiety
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) provides the criteria for diagnosis of general anxiety disorder.
Diagnostic Criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- 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 person finds it difficult to control the worry.
- The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months). Note: Only one item is required in children.
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
APA. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. 2013. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association (APA).
Organic causes of anxiety include the following medical and substance-related conditions.
Medical Conditions that Cause Anxiety
- Cardiac disease
- Hyperthyroidism (sweating, irritability)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Heart attack
- Pulmonary embolus (blood clot in pulmonary artery)
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
- Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)