Anxiety is a normal response to threatening situations. However, anxious feelings can also produce unpleasant side-effects of sweating, tension, panic and avoidant behaviour. If left untreated, anxiety can cause wider difficulties in relationships, at work, and in general mood levels. Psychotherapy and counselling can help by exploring both the root causes of anxiety and the factors that maintain anxiety problems.Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview.
Feeling anxious is sometimes perfectly normal. However, people with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and often affect their daily life.
Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including:
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed. GAD can cause both psychological (mental) and physical symptoms. These vary from person to person, but can include feeling irritable or worried and having trouble concentrating or sleeping.
How common is anxiety?
GAD affects about 1 in 20 adults in Britain. Slightly more women are affected than men, and the condition is most common in people in their 20s.
How is anxiety treated?
GAD can significantly affect your daily life, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks. However, several different treatments are available to ease your psychological and physical symptoms. These include psychological therapy and medication.
There are also many things you can do to ease the symptoms of anxiety yourself.