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Generalised Anxiety Disorder

What is Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)?

Whilst anxiety is a normal human emotion and also a feature of a range of psychological disorders, when someone suffers from GAD they can experience anxiety around a wide range of aspects of their daily lives in a way that is debilitating. People who suffer from GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt calm or relaxed. As soon as one anxious thought dissipates, another thought might appear and take hold for a completely different issue. There both psychological and physical symptoms of GAD and these are:

  • Restlessness
  • Feeling constantly ‘on edge’
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sense of dread
  • Fast, irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability

This is not an exhaustive list as anxiety can manifest itself in many ways. The most characteristic feature of GAD is the experience of endless and persistent worries that can feel overwhelming.

Treatment for GAD

Treatment for GAD is through a combination of medication and psychological therapy. In the first instance it might be helpful to have an assessment with a psychologist to consider what therapeutic approach might be helpful with your difficulties. The most effective forms of therapy for GAD are cognitive-behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness based cognitive therapy. The Chelsea Psychology Clinic has psychologists with expertise in the treatment of GAD.

If psychological therapy hasn’t been effective some medication can be prescribed on a short term or long term basis. Your GP or our Consultant Psychiatrist can advise about this.

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