He looks at me, furrows his brow. "Have him look at it." He's looking into my eyes. It's early in the morning.
I explain, "I have to have something to worry about. It's what I am."
He says, "It's the GAD."
"Huh?" (I know what it is, but don't want to believe he's even be saying this, even though I'm pretty sure he's joking).
"Generalized Anxiety Disorder."
"Uh, duh. Like I don't know what GAD is? I invented GAD."
On that exaggerated note, how about taking a look at the symptoms of GAD? What's the worst thing that can happen? You'll worry you have it?
Diagnostic criteria 300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder *
A. 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)
B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
C. 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.
(1) restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edgeD. The focus of the anxiety and worry is not confined to features of an Axis I disorder, e.g., the anxiety or worry is not about having a Panic Attack (as in Panic Disorder), being embarrassed in public (as in Social Phobia), being contaminated (as in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), being away from home or close relatives (as in Separation Anxiety Disorder), gaining weight (as in Anorexia Nervosa), having multiple physical complaints (as in Somatization Disorder), or having a serious illness (as in Hypochondriasis), and the anxiety and worry do not occur exclusively during Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
(2) being easily fatigued
(3) difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
(5) muscle tension
(6) sleep difficulty (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep
E. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
F. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g. hyperthyroidism) and does not occur exclusively during a Mood Disorder, a Psychotic Disorder, or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
See, to diagnose stuff, you really have to know the entire DSM-IV like the back of your hand. Wait a minute. What do I see there?
* The diagnostic criteria listed about come straight out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, 1994 (DSM-IV). We're all anxiously awaiting the DSM V.