This GAD-7 calculator is a simple and convenient tool that will help you screen for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and its severity.
GAD is one of the most reported anxiety disorders, affecting 6.8 million adults in the United States. Dealing with symptoms of GAD can be difficult, and if you suspect that you're exhibiting symptoms of GAD, you're in the right place.
Come along; we will answer some of the critical questions you may have, such as:
- What is GAD?
- What is the GAD-7 questionnaire?
- How do I score the GAD-7 test?
- How do I cope with anxiety?
- How do I use this anxiety calculator? And more.
What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive anxiety and worry regarding various life events and activities. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V), the diagnostic criteria of GAD include:
- Frequently occurring extreme worry and anxiety for at least six months regarding various events and activities.
- Difficulty controlling the worry.
- Worry and anxiety that are associated with at least three of the following for at least six months:
- Restlessness and feeling on edge;
- Being easily fatigued;
- Difficulty concentrating or being "zoned out";
- Being irritable;
- Sleep disturbances; and
- Muscle tension.
- Mentioned anxiety, worry, or associated physical symptoms significantly, negatively affects your ability to function daily. (This includes social and occupational issues).
- The disturbance is not due to a present medical condition or the physiological effects of a substance.
- The disturbance is not attributable to another mental disorder.
What causes GAD?
Some of the risk factors for the development of GAD include but are not limited to:
- Insecure attachment in childhood (i,e., growing up with a parent who either is consistently unresponsive to a child's needs or inconsistently responsive.);
- Adverse childhood experiences, such as bullying and abuse;
- A genetic vulnerability, such as a family history of anxiety;
- Various socioeconomic aspects, such as economic barriers and low level of education;
- Prolonged stressful experiences; and
- Gender; women are more frequently diagnosed with GAD.
What is the GAD-7 test? GAD-7 scoring interpretation
Robert L. Spitzer and his colleagues developed the GAD-7 test as a brief measure for assessing and identifying possible cases of GAD.
This GAD scale consists of seven items and uses a 3-point scale (0 = Not at all and 3 = Nearly every day) to assess various symptoms of anxiety such as trouble relaxing, worrying too much about different things, feeling nervous, anxious or on edge, etc. The sum of scores determines the severity of indicated symptoms, if any.
GAD-7 scoring interpretation is as follows:
The severity of symptoms
Don't worry. You won't have to do any of the scoring by hand. The GAD-7 calculator will do all the work for you!
How does the GAD-7 calculator work? The GAD scale
Now that you know more about the GAD scale, you're probably wondering how to use the GAD-7 calculator. It's pretty simple!
All you have to do is give the information on how often you have been bothered by the listed problems over the last two weeks. Try to answer as honestly as possible for accurate results. In the end, the GAD-7 calculator will tell you whether you have minimal anxiety, mild anxiety, moderate anxiety, or severe anxiety.
Don't forget that the anxiety calculator cannot replace the professional diagnosis of a health care provider. You should also consider consulting with a healthcare or mental health provider for an appropriate assessment.
Treatment for GAD
Did you know that half of those with GAD do not seek treatment? If you suspect you may have GAD, don't be part of that statistic. Seek further assessment and help! There are many treatment options that can significantly improve your ability to function on a daily basis.
- A therapy technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has long been proven as an effective treatment for GAD. CBT is a talking therapy that will help you recognize negative thoughts and behavior patterns, and challenge them.
- You may also benefit from pharmacotherapy. Anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines (eg. alprazolam – Xanax, clonazepam – Rivotril) can greatly alleviate your symptoms.
- also suggest that transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive method of brain stimulation can be an effective method for treating GAD.
5 tips on how to cope with anxiety
Although dealing with anxiety can be extremely difficult, you can combat it with practical steps!
- Most of us love to consume coffee and caffeinated beverages, but unfortunately, alongside increased alertness, caffeine is associated with the aggravation and maintenance of anxiety disorders. If you suffer from anxiety, try to limit your caffeine consumption.
- Studies prove that mindfulness exercises (bringing your awareness to the present moment, without judgment) are associated with psychological well-being and greatly assist with anxiety, worry, and fear. If you find yourself stuck in an anxiety loop, try one of the exercises called "Five Senses," where you try to notice five things you see, four things you feel, three things you hear, two things you smell, and one thing you taste.
- GAD is strongly associated with substance dependence. Although temporarily escaping from worries with various substances may seem like a good idea, it is not the solution to the problem. Alcohol and drugs can worsen anxiety; therefore, try to avoid them.
- You probably already heard about the importance of staying physically active, and it may seem repetitive, but physical activity is one of the best ways to combat your anxiety! Exercising not only increases the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals but also improves cognitive abilities, such as planning and attention.
- Develop strategies on how to deal with your triggers. Identify what triggers your anxiety, and have a plan on how to cope with them in a healthy way.
What does the GAD-7 assessment measure?
The GAD-7 is a brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Robert L. Spitzer and his colleagues developed the GAD-7 assessment as a reliable and valid measure for GAD symptoms. This GAD scale consists of seven items and touches on issues such as restlessness, worry, irritability, being on edge, etc.
How do I score the GAD-7?
To score the GAD-7 test:
- Sum the scores from all the items.
- Identify your score in the table below:
The severity of symptoms
- That's all! Depending on your score, the GAD scale will suggest whether you have minimal, mild, moderate, or severe anxiety.
How do I proceed if I score above ten on the GAD-7 test?
You might have mild Anxiety if you scored above ten on the GAD-7 questionnaire. Don't hesitate to contact a healthcare professional for further assessment.
Anxiety can significantly affect your daily functioning, but fortunately, there are many ways to combat it!
Is GAD lifelong?
The clinical expression of GAD is usually lifelong; in other words, it is relatively consistent across the lifespan. Although issues that individuals worry about tend to be age-appropriate, and usually, anxiety is more severe in younger adults than older adults.