Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

If anxiety is causing problems in your life, we can help. Together, we'll find the best treatment for you, whether that's medication, therapy or both.

If anxiety is causing problems in your life, we can help. Together, we'll find the best treatment for you, whether that's medication, therapy or both.

Everyone feels anxious from time to time. What separates generalized anxiety disorder from normal anxiety is that GAD causes you distress more days than not.

Signs You Should Get Help for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

These are the typical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder:

  • More days than not, you worry a lot or feel anxious about many things
  • You have a hard time controlling your anxiety
  • Your anxiety makes it hard for you to sleep or concentrate
  • Your anxiety makes you feel distracted, restless, tired or irritable
  • Your symptoms get in the way of your everyday life at home, work or school

If this sounds like you, please talk with a doctor. If your insurance requires a referral, you'll need to start with a primary care provider. If you already have a referral, or if you don't need one, you can start with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment at Rush

At Rush, treatment for generalized anxiety disorder usually includes one or more of the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy that helps many of our patients improve. During CBT, a psychologist will help you learn coping skills so that anxiety doesn't interfere so much with your life.
  • Other types of psychotherapy, depending on your needs and preferences. Psychologists at Rush offer a range of options.
  • Medications. There are several medications that can help with generalized anxiety disorder. Psychiatrists at Rush can help you figure out which medications will work best for you.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can make your first appointment with a psychologist or a psychiatrist. If you're not sure which specialist fits your needs, call us at (312) 942-5375 and we'll help you figure it out.

Whichever specialist you see first, they'll bring in others as necessary. For example, if your psychiatrist thinks psychotherapy may help, they'll refer you to one of our psychologists. If you meet with a psychologist who thinks medication may help, they'll refer you to one of our psychiatrists. If you need to see two different specialists, they'll work together to care for you.

Rush Excellence in Generalized Anxiety Disorder Care

  • A team approach: Depending on your needs and preferences, you may start by seeing a primary care provider, a psychiatrist or a therapist. (Your therapist at Rush may be a psychologist or a social worker.) Whoever you meet with first, you'll have access to our whole team's expertise. If your psychiatrist or primary care doctor thinks you may benefit from therapy, they'll connect you to a trusted therapist. If your therapist thinks you may benefit from medication or a medical procedure, they'll connect you with a trusted psychiatrist.
  • Therapy techniques to reduce anxiety: There are several types cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), each designed to help with specific symptoms. Therapists at Rush have training in CBT techniques designed to help with anxiety.
  • Booster sessions: Even after cognitive behavioral therapy is over, we'll be here for you. If you find your anxiety re-emerging during a stressful period, you can come in for one or two "booster sessions." We'll work to refresh the coping skills you learned during therapy so that you can avoid a relapse.
  • Care designed around your needs: We have geriatric mental health care experts who specialize in treating anxiety in people 65 and older. And our autism experts treat the anxiety that sometimes accompanies autism. Whatever you're dealing with, we likely have a team member specially trained to help you with it.