Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
If you frequently have feelings of nervousness, worry, apprehension or stress surrounding everyday tasks and events – you may be experiencing a generalised form of anxiety. You may have negative thoughts that dominate the way you go about your daily life that make you feel, for no real or tangible reason, that ‘the worst’ is going to happen. Some people that experience this form of anxiety describe themselves as having a preoccupying, debilitating feeling of ‘constantly worrying’ or being ‘paralysed by fear’.
Generalised, non-specific anxiety is a recognised condition by the name of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). If you believe you are being affected by GAD - you are not alone. The disorder is thought to affect 5% of the population.
When taking the courage to share how they feel with others, a lot of people with GAD have told us of the misinterpretation and lack of sensitivity they have received in response. We guarantee that we will not judge you, we will listen to you and will do all we can to help you.
Based on our many years of experience in treating anxiety disorders, we are able to help you break the cycle of fear and worry. When your anxiety is affecting your life to the extent its constant intrusion leaves you reaching out for help, we will be there for you. Our treatment and therapy day programme at Schoen Clinic is designed to improve your insights into your feelings of anxiety and help you build skills to reduce and eliminate them.
What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the experience of regular, seemingly uncontrollable worries about numerous things in life rather than about a specific trigger. Anxiety can result in differing symptoms between people, but individuals with GAD typically feel anxious and distressed most days and find it difficult to relax.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) encompasses both physical and psychological symptoms. The severity and number of symptoms experienced varies between people.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): physical symptoms indicating an anxiety disorder
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Trouble sleeping
- Heart palpitations: a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tension
- Trembling or shaking
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or irritable bowel
- Headaches or migraines
- Pins and needles
- Difficulty with sleep
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): psychological symptoms indicating an anxiety disorder
- Persistent worry
- Feeling restless, unable to relax
- Perfectionistic traits
- Lack of confidence
- Negative thinking (i.e. worst-case scenarios)
- Difficulty handling change or uncertainty
- Difficulty making decisions
- Decreased energy
- A sense of dread
- A feeling of constantly being ‘on edge’
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low self-esteem
What causes Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?
Whilst there is no one definitive cause, the following factors have been found to increase the likelihood of developing GAD:
- Genetic vulnerability: sometimes illustrated through family history of GAD, or other mental health disorders
- Increased activity in brain areas concerned with emotions and behaviour
- An imbalance of brain chemicals (serotonin and noradrenaline) that are involved in mood regulation
- Experience of trauma, including abuse and bullying
- History of chronic physical illness or pain condition
- A history of drug (including tobacco) or alcohol misuse
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Stressful or significant life event