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Generalized anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder: description and reconceptualization
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:40-44.
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Abstract

One hundred eight patients complaining of anxiety were diagnosed using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule and classified into the various anxiety disorder categories as well as major depression. Although patients with a primary diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder were more chronic than were panic disorder patients, most patients in each category met the DSM-III criteria for generalized anxiety disorder with the exception of simple phobic patients. On the basis of these data, it would seem that generalized anxiety disorder is a residual category within the anxiety disorders, since generalized anxiety disorder symptoms are almost always present. But if one distinguishes anticipatory anxiety, which is often part of panic or phobic disorders, from generalized anxiety, an independent anxiety disorder category emerges. This category is characterized by apprehensive expectation or chronic worry focused on multiple life situations.

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