Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension. Unlike a phobia, where your fear is connected to a specific thing or situation, the anxiety of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is diffuse—a general feeling of dread or unease that colors your whole life. This anxiety is less intense than a panic attack, but much longer lasting, making normal life difficult and relaxation impossible.

Often people with depression find they are worrying about things more than usual. This is known as anxiety. People present with different types of anxieties in different situations, for example speaking in public, meeting new people, or go to unfamiliar places. Worries and anxieties can become obsessive. Symptoms of anxiety, including very anxious thoughts and an unpleasant body sensation, can become persistent and potentially lead to panic attacks. It can cause physical symptoms like pain, a pounding heart, stomach cramps and for some people these physical symptoms are their main concern. Anxiety may be constant, or it may come and go in certain circumstances. Either way it’s important to recognize anxiety when it occurs sothat help can be sought.

Counselling and therapy can be useful to someone experiencing anxiety. Through support and guidance the root of the anxiety can be identified. Once the individual learns to understand his/her fears causing the anxiety there are techniques that can teach your body and mind to be calm and present. Worries are often unrealistic and out of proportion. Anxiety can become so dominating that it influences a person’s thoughts and interferes with normal daily functioning such as schoolwork, studies, work, relationships and social activities.

Possible Signs

  • Excessive ongoing worry and tension
  • An unrealistic view of problems
  • Restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”
  • Excessive ongoing worry and tension
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • The need to go to the bathroom frequently
  • Tiredness
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Trembling
  • Being easily startled
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint

The most common anxiety disorders are specific phobias. Other anxiety disorders include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Anxiety is more than just a feeling. It’s the body’s physical “fight or flight” reaction to a perceived threat. Your heart pounds, you breathe faster, your muscles tense up, and you feel light-headed. When you’re relaxed, the complete opposite happens. Your heart rate slows down, you breathe slower and more deeply, your muscles relax, and your blood pressure stabilizes. If you struggle with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation can teach you how to relax.

Anxiety can be treated by applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The trademark of CBT is an intense focus on thought processes and belief systems. The overall goals of the approach are to help people identify problematic beliefs and thought patterns, which are often irrational or unrealistic, and replace them with more rational and realistic views. This is generally accomplished in a supportive and safe environment.