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Psychology  2023 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Review of Current Literature in Saudi Arabia

DOI: 10.4236/psych.2023.141003, PP. 35-51

Keywords: Anxiety Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Attack

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Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a neuropsychological disorder, under the class of anxiety disorders characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worrying for six or more months. GAD is a major hurdle for personal and social productivity and a financial burden on governmental health sectors; moreover, it is one of the common mental health problems in Saudi Arabia and globally with physical and psychological manifestations (e.g., muscle tension, sleeplessness, disoriented thoughts, etc.). Although, there is not a mono-factor’s direct causality of pathogenesis, there are multiple risk factors such as genetics, socioeconomic status, and life experiences that may contribute to the development of GAD. Nonetheless, the diagnosis is made using the criteria set by the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) or the international classification of diseases 11th revision (ICD-11), which covers the patient’s past medical history and present social and environmental setting. The management of GAD includes a combination of psychiatric interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy) and different medications (e.g., selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors) requiring thorough investigations and deep discussions with the patient to rule out other psychiatric conditions and to reach an optimal level of healthcare, preventing further deterioration. This article addresses the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of GAD in Saudi Arabia to present an integrated and updated review.


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