Generalised anxiety disorder in adults
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life; for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.
During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Anxiety is the main symptom of several con-ditions, including panic disorder, phobias, such as agoraphobia or claustro-phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
GAD is a long-term con-dition 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. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.
GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. These vary from person to person, but can include feeling restless or worried, having trouble concentrating or sleeping and dizziness or heart palpitations.
Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress. Your GP will ask about your symptoms and your worries, fears and emotions to find out if you could have GAD.
GAD can have a significant effect on your daily life, but several different treatments are available that can ease your symptoms.
Psychological therapies – you can get psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS; you don’t need a referral from your GP and you can refer yourself: find a psychological therapies service in your area
Medication – such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
There are also many things you can do yourself to help reduce your anxiety, such as going on a self-help course, exercising regularly, stopping smoking and
cutting down on the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink.