It varies from person to person, but it includes:

  • Feeling anxious or tense
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Dizziness or heart palpitations

Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, consult your doctor if anxiety affects your daily life or causes you distress.

Your general practitioner will ask about your symptoms, fears, and emotions to determine if you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

What causes generalized anxiety disorder?

It may be due to:

  • Overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behavior
  • Imbalance in brain chemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which are involved in mood regulation
  • Genetics inherited from your parents - you're estimated to be five times more likely to develop generalized anxiety disorder if you have a close relative with this condition
  • Having a history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or bullying
  • Suffering from a long-term painful health condition, such as arthritis
  • Having a history of drug or alcohol abuse

*However, many people develop generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) without a clear cause.

Treatment methods include:

  • Psychological therapies - you can receive psychological treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medications - such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • With treatment, many people can control their levels of anxiety.

*However, some treatments may need to be continued for a long period, and there may be times when symptoms worsen.