Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

2-minute read

What is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a type of anxiety disorder where people have uncontrollable and persistent worry that affects their day-to-day life on an ongoing basis.

What are the symptoms of GAD?

You could be dealing with GAD if:

  • you uncontrollably worry about many different things, a lot of the time
  • 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
  • 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.

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use our anxiety, stress and depression Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

How is GAD treated?

GAD can be treated. 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. A health professional might recommend supportive psychological therapy or, if it's more severe, prescribe medicines that can help manage anxiety.

Resources and support

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

Last reviewed: January 2021

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Learn the facts about Generalised Anxiety Disorder | WayAhead

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is intense anxiety and worry about a variety of events and issues, and the worry is out of proportion to the situation

Read more on WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW website

Generalised anxiety disorder | Anxiety | ReachOut Australia

Is your anxiety taking over your life? Are you wondering, 'is GAD a lifelong disorder'? Learn more about generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and get the advice and help you need with ReachOut.

Read more on website

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) - Beyond Blue

People with GAD feel anxious and worried most of the time which can interfere with their normal lives

Read more on Beyond Blue website

Types of anxiety - Beyond Blue

The 6 most common anxiety disorders are: generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobias, OCD, PTSD and panic disorder

Read more on Beyond Blue website

About the GAD Online Program

The Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) program helps people understand the nature of anxiety and worry and teaches skills and strategies to help manage symptoms and improve overall wellbeing

Read more on Mental Health Online website

BRAVE Self-Help Program - Teen Program

The BRAVE program is an online program that provides teenagers and their parents with information and skills to help cope with worries and anxiety.

Read more on The BRAVE Program website

BRAVE Self-Help Program - Child Program

The BRAVE Program is a fun, online program that will help you learn ways of coping better with your worries.

Read more on The BRAVE Program website

CCI - Generalised Anxiety Self-Help Resources

Self-help resources for generalized anxiety disorder, written by clinical psychologists.

Read more on Centre for Clinical Interventions website

Anxiety disorder

Quick facts Anxiety disorders occur when anxiety becomes very distressing and impacts on day-to-day-life.  Anxiety disorders include generalised...

Read more on SANE Australia website

Social anxiety disorder -

Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) causes people to feel anxious at the prospect of everyday social interactions and causes symptoms such as trembling and sweating.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.