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Generalised anxiety disorder in adults

See your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.

People with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) worry unrealistically about everyday situations such as:

  • school
  • work
  • relationships
  • health

You may have GAD if:

  • your worrying significantly affects your daily life, including your job and social life
  • your worries are very stressful and upsetting
  • you worry about all sorts of things and have a tendency to think the worst
  • your worrying is uncontrollable
  • you've felt worried almost every day for at least 6 months
  • you often ask many unnecessary questions and require constant reassurance
  • you're a perfectionist. You take a long time to complete homework or a task because you try to get it absolutely correct

Talk to your GP

Your GP may ask you questions about:

  • any physical or psychological symptoms and how long you've had them
  • your worries, fears and emotions
  • your personal life

You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life. But, it's important that your GP understands your symptoms and circumstances. They can then make the correct diagnosis.

To help with the diagnosis, your GP may carry out a physical examination or blood tests. These can rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms, such as:

  • anaemia - a deficiency in iron or vitamin B12 and folate
  • an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

Related topics

Clinical depression

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE.

page last reviewed: 23/09/2018
next review due: 23/09/2021

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