Anxiety Symptoms

What are the Anxiety symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety symptoms can vary; everyone will experience anxiety differently, although it’s the same fight or flight response jumping into action. Generalised anxiety disorder in adults is probably the most typical type of mental health problem; it can be described as the ‘common cold’ of mental health concerns because it is the most common.

Generalised anxiety disorder, or GAD as it’s known for short, has several physiological and psychological symptoms, which I will go into shortly.

The first port of call when experiencing anxiety symptoms should be your GP, so you can get checked or diagnosed by someone who can do so. Most therapists are not allowed to make a diagnosis; however, therapists can treat the symptoms.

What drives Gad is excessive worry and a sense of imminent doom or dread. This worry triggers a part of your brain called the Amygdala to sense a threat and then produce anxiety symptoms to help you either fight or flee the situation. And because there is nothing to fight or escape from (our imaginations create anxiety), we tend to feel the symptoms excessively.

Psychological anxiety symptoms of GAD

  • Feeling jittery and restless
  • Feeling impending doom
  • Agitation and sometimes feeling snappy
  • Overbearing worry
  • Catastrophic thinking
  • Brain fog
  • On edge feelings

These symptoms can often affect our behaviour, such as avoiding certain situations, such as going out to a party or a work meeting. Sufferers will also try to avoid thinking about what makes them afraid, called cognitive avoidance.

Physical anxiety symptoms of GAD

  • Lightheaded or dizzy
  • Fatigue
  • Racing or thumping heart
  • Aches and pains
  • Tremors and shaking
  • Lump in the throat feeling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hot flushes and sweating
  • Choppy breathing
  • Butterflies in the Tummy
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Tension headaches
  • Muscle twitching
  • Sleeping problems

What causes generalised anxiety?

There are various types of anxiety problems, such as social phobia, specific phobia, panic disorder etc., and with these anxieties, we know the cause and the triggers for the anxious feelings; however, with GAD, the cause may not be known. Excessive worry about things turning out bad drives GAD or may also be driven by a fear of the symptoms, such as a person feeling very anxious and sensing danger but having no idea why. The body reacts to imagined threats. It isn’t uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to believe they may go mad and end up sectioned in a hospital.

Common Worry thoughts which cause anxiety symptoms

It is common for worriers to think about a range of themes, such as:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Finances
  • Work
  • College
  • Relationships

Worrying is usual for most of us, and worry is predicting the future somehow. Negative worry indicates something terrible is about to happen. GAD sufferers will fixate on this and try to use worry to fix the issue or prepare for the worst outcome.


What kind of treatment is available for generalised anxiety disorder?

It is common for your GP to prescribe medication for your symptoms, such as antidepressants like Citalopram, Sertraline or Prozac. Other common medications are amitriptyline and Buspirone.

But these can help with the physical symptoms but don’t fix the route cause of the reason why you are anxious.

Psychotherapy, particularly CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy), is a talk therapy that helps you understand your fears and worries to challenge anxiety. Treatment will also give you valuable tools to help yourself in the future.

Hypnotherapy can help you use relaxation when thinking about the worry rather than the tension and anxiety you feel. It can help you create new associations between relaxation and being able to cope with your fears.

It will help you readjust your beliefs that nearly all the times we worry about something drastic happening, it never does (well, rarely). On the very few occasions where the dread does come true, the actual event is more often manageable and far from as bad as you’d imagined.Invest in your mental health! Take back control and learn to live again.

You can read more about Generalised Anxiety Disorder here.