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Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a very common type of anxiety that can significantly affect your daily life.

Many people feel anxious in different situations, such as before exams, interviews, or health checks. Although it can feel uncomfortable feeling anxious at these times, it is normal.

However, GAD can make you worry about lots of different things, find it very difficult to manage your worrying, and make you worry on more days than not. You may find situations that are unpredictable, uncertain or out of your control make you feel more anxious as you worry about all the different things that could happen.

Generalised anxiety is more than the thoughts running through your mind; you may have also noticed that anxiety can affect you physically, as well as your behaviours. Common physical symptoms of anxiety are faster heart rate, feeling restless, on-edge and irritable and muscle tension.

To try to reduce these feelings, you might find yourself checking things over and over again to make sure they’re correct, putting things off until the last minute, or avoid certain things.

Symptoms can include:

  • You worry on more days than not
  • You worry about lots of different things
  • You find it hard to control your worrying
  • You experience some physical symptoms, such as feeling on-edge or irritable, muscle tension, or finding it hard to concentrate
  • You have sleep problems

If you would like to know more about generalised anxiety, please see the booklet and video on this page.