Generalized Anxiety Disorder: How It Compares to PTSD

  • Amy PrzeworskiEmail author
  • Kimberly Dunbeck
Reference work entry


Exposure to traumatic events is a common experience. Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often thought of as the psychological disorder that is most commonly triggered by a trauma, other diagnoses such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may also develop in response to a traumatic event. There is a high degree of comorbidity between the two diagnoses and a significant degree of overlap in the symptoms of these disorders. Worry is a common experience in both disorders, and numerous mechanisms of action have been proposed for worry in individuals who experience a traumatic event and develop either GAD or PTSD. However, future research is necessary to identify what factors predict which individuals develop PTSD or GAD in response to a traumatic event.


Worry Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Traumatic event Stressor 

List of Abbreviations


Cognitive behavioral therapy


Generalized anxiety disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Case Western Reserve UniversityDepartment of Psychological SciencesClevelandUSA

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