aka. GAD, is a mental health disorder that can be characterized as persistent and overwhelming feeling of stress about a number of different things at once.

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constant worry

intrusive thoughts

inability to tolerate uncertainty

constant feeling of dread 

inability to relax

difficulty concentrating

putting things off because of feeling overwhelmed

avoiding stressful situations 

feeling tense

trouble sleeping because of intrusive thoughts

feeling restless

stomach problems



Misconception vs. Reality

“People with GAD disorders just blow it all out of proportion”

To someone without the disorder, it may seem like an overreaction, however the person experiencing it is likely unable to control their stress

“Generalized means not that bad”

GAD can be very severe with many symptoms - also in order to get diagnosed with GAD, the symptoms often need to be severe enough to be impacting the person’s life.

“People with GAD just do it to get attention”

Panic attacks are not fake. during a panic attack, a person is being overwhelmed with a lot of emotions and symptoms can sometimes be so severe that they can be mistaken for a heart attack

“GAD is really rare”

GAD is relatively common. It affects almost 6.8 million Americans a year. 

“Anxiety is really obvious, i can easily spot it”

Although there are a few physical symptoms, GAD can often be invisible to an observer

“GAD has no physical symptoms”

GAD has many physical symptoms that can really affect a person's life

“Anxiety meds are addictive, never take them”

Though some anxiety meds are addictive, not all of them are. when taken responsibly and in the correct quantity, they can be life changing (for the better)

“Meds are the only way to manage GAD”

Meds are definitely a treatment option for GAD, but many people choose to go other, also effective, routes such as using relaxation techniques, or cognitive behavioral therapy. some people benefit from several

“There’s nothing you can do to help someone with GAD”

The first thing you can do to help is to listen and understand what the person is telling you. watching out for the person’s drug and alcohol use is also good, as people often try them to help manage their GAD.

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Project Calendula is intended to be a prelude for your mental health journey by guiding your education and advocacy. We are not a mental health service. 

If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.): 800-273-8255

If you or someone you know are struggling, please visit the resources at the bottom of this section to find a mental health professional near you.

Please visit any of the following websites for further information on mental illness education.


Learn more about signs, symptoms, treatment, causes and more here


Visit MHA to get an overview on GAD, a list resources, a screening, and more.


To learn more about treatment and self-care, visit help guide below.