Information for the public
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is a common mental health problem, affecting 1 in every 25 people in the UK. The main symptoms of GAD are:
having a number of different worries that are excessive and out of proportion to a particular situation
having difficulty controlling one's worries.
Everyone feels anxious or worried sometimes, but having GAD means having uncontrollable anxieties or worries about a lot of different events and situations a lot of the time. People with GAD can find it difficult or stressful to carry out their daily activities. Sometimes people with GAD also have another mental health problem such as depression.
Other symptoms of GAD include feeling irritable, restless, tired, having tense muscles and problems concentrating or sleeping. It can be difficult to recognise GAD so it is important that you talk to your GP or other healthcare professional if you have any of these symptoms and are worried or anxious a lot of the time.
As the worries and anxieties continue and get worse, the person may think they have a serious mental illness, such as psychosis, but this is not the case.