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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) usually involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread, which can interfere with daily life. It is not the same as occasionally worrying about things or experiencing anxiety due to stressful life events. People living with GAD experience frequent anxiety for months, if not years. Learn more about generalized anxiety disorder.

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For opportunities to participate in NIMH research on the NIH campus, visit the clinical research website. Travel and lodging assistance may be available.

Featured Studies

Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.


Improving Attentional and Cognitive Control in the Psychological Treatment of Intrusive Thoughts

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: April 30, 2021
Eligibility: 18 Years to 60 Years, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The investigators are conducting this study to learn more about the cognitive and attentional processes among individuals with three types of repetitive negative thinking (RNT): mental rituals (as seen in obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD), worries (as seen in generalized anxiety disorder, GAD), and ruminations (as seen in major depressive disorder, MDD). Specifically, the investigators are studying whether psychological treatment can help people with RNT who have trouble stopping unwanted thoughts and shifting their attention.


Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in Latin American College Students

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 1, 2021
Eligibility: 18 Years and Older, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico; Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia

The aim is to evaluate short term and longer term treatment effects of internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy compared to treatment as usual for college students with anxiety and/or depression in low-middle income countries of Latin America.


Expectation of Unpleasant Events in Anxiety Disorders

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: March 24, 2003
Eligibility: 18 Years to 50 Years, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Location(s): National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Fear and anxiety are normal responses to a threat. However, anxiety is considered abnormal when the response to the threat is excessive or inappropriate. This study will examine changes in the body and brain that occur during unpleasant learning experiences in healthy volunteers with high, moderate, and low levels of anxiety.

A high degree of generalized anxiety is a component of many anxiety disorders and is regarded as a marker of vulnerability for these disorders. People with anxiety disorders and individuals with high degrees of anxiety have inappropriate expectations of unpleasant events. This study will investigate the development of expecting unpleasant events in healthy volunteers with varying degrees of anxiety using aversive conditioning models. A later phase of the study will enroll participants with anxiety disorders and compare their responses to those of healthy volunteers.

Patients who meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, and healthy volunteers who have no history of psychiatric or major medical illness will be enrolled in this study. Volunteers will come to the NIH Clinical Center three times for outpatient testing.