Generalised anxiety disorder


Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is much more than the normal anxiety people experience. It is chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is nothing to provoke it. You always anticipate disaster and worry excessively about health, money, family or work. Simply the thought of getting through the day may provoke anxiety.


Some research suggests that GAD may run in families. It may grow worse during stress. GAD usually begins at an early age.

Signs & Symptoms

When you feel very anxious your mind and body speed up. Some of the things that may happen are:

  • heart beat gets very fast
  • breathing gets very fast
  • muscles feel week
  • sweating more
  • stomach is churning
  • it is hard to concentrate
  • feel dizzy
  • feel frozen to the spot
  • cannot eat
  • hot and cold sweats
  • dry mouth
  • tense muscles.

You may have some of the above feelings as well as long-term effects such as

  • a nagging sense of fear
  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • headaches
  • trouble getting on with work and planning for the future
  • problems having sex
  • loss of self-confidence.


Treatment includes medication and psychotherapy. It may take long, but treatment is effective.

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