n South African Journal of Psychiatry - Generalised anxiety disorder : The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) Treatment Guidelines for Psychiatric Disorders

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9685
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6786



Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 6.1% and a 1-year prevalence of 2.9% in one large study. It occurs most commonly in the 45-55-year age group with women twice as likely as men to have GAD. Although symptoms typically wax and wane in intensity over time, the disorder is characterised by chronicity and is associated with high levels of psychiatric comorbidity (e.g. major depression and other anxiety disorders), physical comorbidity (e.g. gastrointestinal, respiratory, and thyroid disorders) and reduced quality of life. There have been important advances in the nosology and treatment of this disorder. In particular, there is increasing evidence that patients with GAD and mixed anxiety-depression frequently present in primary care settings, and the provides fairly user-friendly criteria for the diagnosis of GAD.

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