Navigating things like work, school, and relationships can sometimes be tough for everyone. Everyone experiences worries and fears surrounding these important areas from time to time. However, living with generalized anxiety disorder presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to these aspects of life.

Normal anxiety leads to fears or worries about specific events or situations like deadlines, exams, or medical appointments. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes constant and chronic worry that leads to intense stress that interferes with work, school, and relationships. People with GAD feel edgy and irritable for what seems like no reason and often experience physical symptoms as a result.

Living with generalized anxiety disorder causes noticeable and sometimes severe impacts on important parts of life. Your anxiety can lead to difficulties with friends, family, colleagues, and classmates alike. How does GAD affect work, school, and relationships, and how can you find help for your mental health?

Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is a common but impactful mental health disorder. An estimated 6.8 million adults in the U.S., or 3.1% of the population, live with the condition.1 GAD causes persistent worry and anxiety as well as symptoms including:

  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems

People living with generalized anxiety disorder usually feel fearful or believe that something bad will happen, even when there is no real danger or threat to worry about. This makes navigating things like work, school, and relationships even more complicated. 

Although each circumstance can be more difficult due to GAD, there are things you can do to help you manage anxiety and relationships, work, school, and other circumstances. How does generalized anxiety disorder affect these various areas of life?

Anxiety and Relationships, Work, and School

Feeling nervous about a performance review, test, or uncomfortable conversation is a common experience. Those nerves are a bigger problem when the overwhelm keeps you from participating in life to its fullest extent. Living with generalized anxiety disorder typically leads people to anticipate and expect the worst in situations when there is no indication or reason that they should feel worried.

It isn’t easy to cope with anxiety and relationships, work, or school when you’re used to expecting the worst all of the time. GAD also leads people to develop maladaptive coping skills like anxious avoidance or poor emotional regulation, which only creates more problems in the long run.2 Forcing your way through your symptoms is not beneficial, but taking steps to seek professional help for your mental health is.

Finding Help For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If you’re living with generalized anxiety disorder, seeking help is the most effective way to learn to manage your condition. Specialized mental health treatment facilities like Steps to Recovery help you develop emotional regulation skills and strengthen your mental resilience so you can more effectively deal with anxiety and relationships, work, and school.

Would you like to learn more about the programs we offer at Steps to Recovery? Whether you’re looking for dual diagnosis treatment, a partial hospitalization program, or an intensive outpatient program, we can help. Call us at 267-719-8528 or submit an online contact form to speak with an admissions specialist and find the program that best fits your needs.


  1. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. (2022). Anxiety Disorders – Facts & Statistics.
  2. Current Psychiatry Reports. (2021). Correlates of Quality of Life in Anxiety Disorders.