|The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural
World Health Organization, Geneva, 1992
F41.1 Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The essential feature is anxiety, which is generalized and
persistent but not restricted to, or even strongly predominating
in, any particular environmental circumstances (i.e. it is
"free-floating"). As in other anxiety disorders the
dominant symptoms are highly variable, but complaints of
continuous feelings of nervousness, trembling, muscular tension,
sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, dizziness, and epigastric
discomfort are common. Fears that the sufferer or a relative will
shortly become ill or have an accident are often expressed,
together with a variety of other worries and forebodings. This
disorder is more common in women, and often related to chronic
environmental stress. Its course is variable but tends to be
fluctuating and chronic.
The sufferer must have primary symptoms of anxiety most days
for at least several weeks at a time, and usually for several
months. These symptoms should usually involve elements of:
(a) apprehension (worries about future misfortunes, feeling
"on edge", difficulty in concentrating, etc.);
(b) motor tension (restless fidgeting, tension headaches,
trembling, inability to relax); and
(c) autonomic overactivity (lightheadedness, sweating, tachycardia
or tachypnoea, epigastric discomfort, dizziness, dry mouth, etc.).
In children, frequent need for reassurance and recurrent
somatic complaints may be prominent.
The transient appearance (for a few days at a time) of other
symptoms, particularly depression, does not rule out generalized
anxiety disorder as a main diagnosis, but the sufferer must not
meet the full criteria for depressive episode, phobic anxiety
disorder, panic disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
* anxiety neurosis
* anxiety reaction
* anxiety state
ICD-10 copyright © 1992 by World Health Organization.
Psychiatry copyright © (www.azpsychiatry.info)
by Dr. Manaan Kar Ray