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People with anxiety disorders often experience persistent worries and fears that may impact their daily living. These feelings of anxiety are often intense and difficult to control. It is a genuine medical condition; these people are not just neurotic people – despite the stereotype – and require help and medical treatment to get better.


What are the signs and symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)?


Individuals should experience uncontrollable anxiety with at least three of the following for at least six months:


  • Irritability

  • Restlessness

  • Impairment in concentration

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

  • Low energy

  • Muscle aches or tension


Note that only one of the symptoms is required for diagnosis in children.


Other anxiety disorders


Other anxiety disorders include:


  • Panic attacks or panic disorder

  • Phobias and agoraphobia

  • Social anxiety disorder 

  • Separation anxiety disorder


Other conditions like anxiety

There are other mental health conditions that may present similarly, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Medical conditions that have similar presentations include heart rhythm problems and endocrine conditions such as hyperthyroidism and pheochromocytoma. A person may also experience transient feelings of anxiety from medications or stimulants which include caffeine.




A combination of pharmacological treatments with psychosocial and behavioural therapy may be effective for patients suffering from anxiety disorders. Additionally, lifestyle modifications are also recommended in conjunction with treatment of anxiety disorders.


It is important that you treat anxiety as soon as you experience the symptoms. Anxiety disorders can be debilitating conditions that will majorly impact your relationships with your loved ones and affect your life and future. With compliance to treatment, patients can resume their normal routines and go on to have a healthy, happy life. You are not defined by your illness – so seek help whenever you can. It is never too late.

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