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About Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

About Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects approximately 3% of Australians adults. People with GAD worry excessively and have difficulty controlling their worry. Most people worry about things from time to time. But, people with GAD find that it affects their everyday life in a significant way. People with GAD worry excessively about many things including their health, the health of family and friends, finances, upcoming events, etc. Importantly, while worry is normal, the worry experienced by people with GAD is our of proportion to the actual likelihood or impact of the things the person is excessively worried about.

People with GAD often experience physical symptoms of anxiety, including physical tension, headaches, upset stomach and bowels, fatigue, sleep problems, neck pain, and similar symptoms. Because of those symptoms people with GAD often visit doctors frequently, ask for reassurance, and overprepare for any event. People with GAD worry so much that they are anxious, tense, and jumpy much of the time, they rarely relax, and often feel depressed or distressed about their symptoms.

"Mary has always been a ‘worrier’, and worries excessively about most things, including her health, the health of family members, finances, just about everything. Because she is often so tense, she regularly feels exhausted, sleeps poorly, and suffers headache and muscle tension."

What Are the Symptoms of GAD?

The main symptoms of GAD include:

  • Excessive anxiety and worry for at least 6 months about several different things.
  • The person finds it very difficult to control the worry.
  • The level of worry is out of proportion to the actual likelihood or impact of the things the person is excessively worried about.
  • The person experiences physical symptoms, such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and disturbed sleep.

Importantly, the worry experienced by people with GAD is more than normal day-to-day worry. Most people worry about things from time to time. But, people with GAD find that it affects their everyday life. So, they may try to control their worry by doing things like visiting doctors frequently, asking for reassurance, overpreparing for any potential event, reminding others continuously about things, avoiding doing new things, or taking on new challenges or opportunities, because of their fear.

Treatment of GAD

The good news is that Generalised Anxieyt Disorder is treatable. The best treatments involve:

(a) Learning about GAD, the symptoms and how they interact.
(b) Learning practical, proven, skills for controlling symptoms and gradually practicing those skills to reduce symptoms.

You can talk to your General Practitioner about getting a referral to an experienced mental health professional or another mental health professional to learn to manage your GAD. Or, you can try our Wellbeing Course.



The Wellbeing Course