What are anxiety disorders?
An anxiety disorder is a medical condition characterised by persistent, excessive worry.
Anxiety disorders can take a number of forms. Common to all of these is anxiety so distressing it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry out, or take pleasure in, day-to-day life.
A person may experience more than one anxiety disorder. Some people may also experience depression with the anxiety, or have problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
What is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)?
Most people feel anxious and worried from time to time, especially when faced with stressful situations like taking an exam, speaking in public, playing competitive sport or going for a job interview. This sort of anxiety can make you feel alert and focused, helping you get things done faster or perform at your best.
People with GAD, however, feel anxious and worried most of the time, not just in specific stressful situations, and these worries are intense, persistent and interfere with their normal lives. Their worries relate to several aspect of everyday life, including work, health, family and/or financial issues, rather than just one issue. Even minor things such as household chores or being late for an appointment can become the focus of anxiety, leading to uncontrollable worries and a feeling that something terrible will happen.