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Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

2-minute read

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a type of anxiety disorder where people have uncontrollable worry that impacts on day-to-day life.

GAD symptoms

You could be dealing with GAD if:

  • you uncontrollably worry about many different things, a lot of the time
  • you find it hard to stop worrying
  • your worry makes it hard to do everyday things like working and seeing friends
  • you're often tired but can't sleep properly
  • you constantly feel tense or restless
  • your heart races or your mouth gets dry
  • you have difficulty concentrating
  • you are irritable
  • you have trouble sleeping
  • your jaw or back is sore from muscle tension

If you have these symptoms on more days than not for 6 months or more, it could be GAD.

GAD treatment

If you're feeling constantly anxious and worried, the safest way to start dealing with GAD is to talk to a doctor or a mental health professional. It is treatable. A health professional might advise on supportive psychological therapy or, if it's more severe, medicines that can help manage anxiety.

Where to go for help

Not sure what to do next?

If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to manage mental health issues, try healthdirect’s Symptom Checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: January 2019

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