What is it?

Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that can affect ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks. Anxiety can develop gradually which can make it difficult to work out when it has become a serious issue.

What are the symptoms?

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally. How severe the symptoms are varies from person to person. Some people have only one or two symptoms, while others have many more. You should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.

Psychological symptoms of GAD

GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness.
  • A sense of dread.
  • Feeling constantly “on edge”.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Irritability.

Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread. You may also find going to work difficult and stressful and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.

Physical symptoms of GAD

GAD can also have a number of physical symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness.
  • Tiredness.
  • A noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations).
  • Muscle aches and tension.
  • Trembling or shaking.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Stomach ache.
  • Feeling sick.
  • Headache.
  • Pins and needles.
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia).

What to expect?

In addition to treatment by your doctor or psychologist you can try the following things:

  • Maintaining a normal rhythm by going to sleep at normal times and getting out of bed early in the morning.
  • Try to keep doing your normal daily activities.
  • Try to avoid using recreational drugs and alcohol.

Think you might have Anxiety?

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Think you might have Anxiety?