Standardized rating scales are used to diagnose GAD. The rating scales assess by severity. Mental health professionals use the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria to determine the extent of generalized anxiety disorder.
Criteria include the following, the occurrence of which is six months.
- Excessive anxiety and worry
- Difficult to control worry
Anxiety and worry are associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficult concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
The development of additional criteria is based upon the focus of the anxiety or worry; the symptoms; and the absence of drug abuse and/or medication.
Additional criteria is used and derived from the ICD-10. Some of the same list of symptoms is specific to DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria with additional references to the fact that GAD doesn’t meet the same criteria for panic disorder, phobic anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hypochondriacal disorder.