What Is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

We all struggle with anxiety from time to time – for instance, you may feel nervous about a job interview or a public presentation. In such scenarios, feeling anxious is a normal response, and may even help us be more efficient in our daily tasks.

However, some people may find it hard to control their worries and fears. When your anxiety becomes persistent, it can be debilitating and can have a negative effect on your daily life.

What Is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a long-lasting condition, which is not limited to one certain event. It can make you feel extremely anxious and worried about various situations and aspects of your life, such as money, work, health, family or other issues.

You may be aware that your worries and fears are irrational, but you feel unable to control your thoughts and break the cycle of anxiety. As a result, you may avoid social situations or activities that you used to enjoy.

Does your anxiety significantly interfere with your everyday life? Have you been feeling worried nearly every day for at least 6 months? Your anxiety can often negatively impact your work or study performance, and you may feel isolated and lonely. Worrying about various things and imagining negative future outcomes can be a stressful and upsetting experience. You may also struggle with physical symptoms, such as headaches and heart palpitations.

What Causes Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

There are various factors that may play a role in developing GAD. However, the exact causes of the condition are controversial, and a combination of different things are likely to be involved. Here are some examples:

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain, especially of serotonin and noradrenaline, which are responsible for controlling and stabilizing our mood
  • Overactivity in brain regions that are implicated in the regulation of our emotions and behaviour
  • Genetics may play an important role; you’re more likely to develop GAD, if you have a close family member with the condition
  • Having experienced a stressful or traumatic event, such as childhood neglect, abuse or bullying
  • Having a history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Experiencing debilitating long-term health conditions, such as arthritis

If you are experiencing symptoms of generalised anxiety, it is important that you seek treatment. Your symptoms, even when they are severe, can improve with the right interventions.

Our team at EmotionMatters can help you get your life back on track. We have a multidisciplinary team who can help you overcome anxiety:

Psychotherapists – talking therapy to break stuck patterns of thinking and ritualistic behaviour

Nutritional Therapy – diet, lifestyle and health interventions to balance your body chemistry

Psychiatry – medical assessment and anti-anxiety medications