Generalised Anxiety Disorder

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety can be described as a general feeling of unease, a worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, undergoing a medical procedure or attending a job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.
However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life.

Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias,post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety (social phobia).

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is a specific anxiety disorder which is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. These vary from person to person, but can include feeling restless or worried and having trouble concentrating or sleeping.

What are the symptoms of GAD?

GAD affects the way a person thinks, but the anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well. Symptoms of GAD can include:

• Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
• An unrealistic view of problems
• Restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy"
• Irritability
• Muscle tension
• Headaches
• Sweating
• Difficulty concentrating
• Nausea
• The need to go to the toilet frequently
• Tiredness
• Trouble falling or staying asleep
• Trembling
• Being easily startled

It is not uncommon for people with GAD to have other anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias), or suffer from depression, and/or abuse of alcohol or drugs.