Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Here, you can find out everything you wanted to know about GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder...or at least we hope so!). You can click (or touch) each of the headings below to find out more about specific aspects of the condition.

We hope you find the information useful and if you do, please feel free to share it.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects around 1 in every 25 people in the UK. As we said on another page (this one to be exact), anxiety affects everyone to some degree, but if those feelings last for a long time and aren't focussed on one particular issue (unlike a phobia), then you may be diagnosed with GAD.

Those with GAD will find it difficult to relax, difficult to enjoy quiet time or enjoy time they spend alone. They may find concentrating hard and, with the constant worry playing on your mind, difficult to focus on simple tasks and often put off events others find routine due to their overwhelming worry and anxiety.

Physically, those with GAD will find their muscles are almost permanently tense, which leads to common aches and pains throughout their body. They will feel on edge a lot of the time and find it hard to sleep. This tension can also give them regular stomach ache, nausea or diarrhoea.

 

By the nature of the condition, GAD diagnosis is fairly wide-ranging so the symptoms, and how they manifest themselves, will differ between those living with the condition. What you find anxiety-inducing and the effect it has on you, might be quite different from someone else suffering with the same condition.

For those suffering with GAD, living with the condition on a daily basis can be absolutely exhausting. Finding everyday life a constant source of crippling anxiety, leads to a lack of energy, unsettled sleep and long parts of your day feeling mentally and physically drained.

You might be thinking "well everyone worries about things", and you'd be right, but GAD sufferers take that worry to a whole other level. For those suffering with Generalised Anxiety Disorder will find their anxiety is excessive, persistent, intrusive and often debilitating.

 

How and why it occurs is, as always, open to discussion and interpretation. Some believe it is caused by overactivity in the area of the brain that controls your emotions and behaviour. Others believe it's an imbalance in the brain chemicals which regulate your mood; namely serotonin and noradrenaline.

Your life history is also considered to play a part. If you have suffered through stressful or traumatic events in your life, such as child abuse, bullying or domestic violence, then this could also play a part. Alternatively, others develop GAD with no history of any of those things.

 

If you suffer with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, there may be some organisations on our Where To Turn pages that can help you. If not, and you know of one, please let us know and we'll look into it.

Also, if you'd like to share your experiences of living with GAD with our community so they can better understand how it feels, please take a look at our 'Men Tell' section.