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Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Main Features

People go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even although there is often little or nothing to cause it.

They anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work.

They canít seem to get rid of their worries, even though they usually realise that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.

They can't relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating.

Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Physical symptoms often accompany the anxiety and can include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, light-headedness, having to go to the toilet frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flushes.

In pregnancy and postnatal period

Women who experience GAD during pregnancy or in the postnatal period often find that they worry excessively about the baby. For example, they might constantly worry about whether the baby is gaining enough weight or getting enough sleep. Medical professionals may be alerted to this as these mothers may be frequent attenders at their clinics or phone often for advice or reassurance.

Many of these worries are a normal part of becoming a mother.

When the amount and the intensity of worrying is excessive, it becomes a problem if;

  • the mother feels very distressed by it
  • the mother is unable to function properly
  • it causes difficulties for others. For example, a mother keeps picking up her baby which interferes with the baby's sleeping.

See information for women on Generalised Anxiety Disorder

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