What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

GAD is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. As soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another may appear about a different issue.

People with GAD feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.


Anxiety is a normal human response to danger or threat. Anxiety helps protect us from harm and makes it more likely that we’ll survive. In other words, it helps keep us safe.

In fact, anxiety can be good most of the time. If you came face to face with a tiger, anxiety would tell your body to prepare to fight or run away. If you feel anxious about a job interview, you will likely prepare carefully. This could increase your chance of getting the job.

Anxiety becomes a problem when it is more intense than it should be for a given situation, lasts longer than it should, or interferes with our ability to function in daily life.

GAD symptoms

  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Tiredness
  • Physical tension
  • Avoidance
  • Excessive preparation for things
  • Difficulty in making decision
  • Reassurance seeking


Worry can be defined as a type of self-talk in which we predict that negative events will happen in the future and over-estimate the possibility of disaster. Worrying thoughts tend to be characterised by “What if?” statements.

For example:

  • What if my plane is delayed?
  • What if I’m caught in traffic and am late for work?
  • What if something awful happens to my children?
  • What if I get ill?
  • What if I lose my job?

This is often followed by imagined situations in which we try to plan how we would cope with these events if they were to happen. Often overestimating the likelihood or severity of negative events and underestimating our own ability to cope, should the event occur.

When you feel anxious, it can seem as though you are the only one who feels that way. In reality, anxiety can affect anyone at any time.

The good news is that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, has been used for many years as an effective treatment for anxiety and we have partnered with Silvercloud to offer you free access to a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self-help programme, designed by clinical experts using proven methods for helping people, all with the aim of empowering you to think and feel better.

This programme is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT consists of two key steps to feeling well:

  1. Understanding what’s going on inside you
  2. Making changes to feel better

The key idea behind CBT is that your emotions, thoughts, behaviours and physical sensations are connected, and affect each other.

Simply choose your programme on SilverCloud. When prompted to sign up, you will need an access code to enable you to create your account and use this resource. The access code is kwnelselfhelp

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