Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Learn to overcome intrusive worries

If you frequently have feelings of nervousness, worry, apprehension or stress surrounding everyday tasks and events – you may be experiencing a generalised form of anxiety. You may have negative thoughts that dominate the way you go about your daily life that make you feel, for no real or tangible reason, that ‘the worst’ is going to happen. Some people that experience this form of anxiety describe themselves as having a preoccupying, debilitating feeling of ‘constantly worrying’ or being ‘paralysed by fear’.

Generalised, non-specific anxiety is a recognised condition by the name of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). If you believe you are being affected by GAD - you are not alone. The disorder is thought to affect 5% of the population.

When taking the courage to share how they feel with others, a lot of people with GAD have told us of the misinterpretation and lack of sensitivity they have received in response. We guarantee that we will not judge you, we will listen to you and will do all we can to help you.

Based on our many years of experience in treating anxiety disorders, we are able to help you break the cycle of fear and worry. When your anxiety is affecting your life to the extent its constant intrusion leaves you reaching out for help, we will be there for you. Our treatment and therapy day programme at Schoen Clinic is designed to improve your insights into your feelings of anxiety and help you build skills to reduce and eliminate them.

What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the experience of regular, seemingly uncontrollable worries about numerous things in life rather than about a specific trigger. Anxiety can result in differing symptoms between people, but individuals with GAD typically feel anxious and distressed most days and find it difficult to relax.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) encompasses both physical and psychological symptoms. The severity and number of symptoms experienced varies between people.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Physical symptoms indicating an anxiety disorder

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heart palpitations: a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea or irritable bowel
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Pins and needles
  • Difficulty with sleep

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Psychological symptoms indicating an anxiety disorder

  • Persistent worry
  • Feeling restless, unable to relax
  • Nervousness
  • Overthinking
  • Perfectionistic traits
  • Lack of confidence
  • Negative thinking (i.e. worst-case scenarios)
  • Difficulty handling change or uncertainty
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Decreased energy
  • A sense of dread
  • A feeling of constantly being ‘on edge’
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Low self-esteem

What causes Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

Whilst there is no one definitive cause, the following factors have been found to increase the likelihood of developing GAD:
  • Genetic vulnerability: sometimes illustrated through family history of GAD, or other mental health disorders
  • Increased activity in brain areas concerned with emotions and behaviour
  • An imbalance of brain chemicals (serotonin and noradrenaline) that are involved in mood regulation
  • Experience of trauma, including abuse and bullying
  • History of chronic physical illness or pain condition
  • A history of drug (including tobacco) or alcohol misuse
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Stressful or significant life event

Diagnosis: How we identify a GAD

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can ‘sneak up’ on you and often you carry on with life believing you are ‘just a worrier’. It is common that people with GAD only seek professional help when they find they feel exhausted, feel they are not coping and are regularly sleep deprived. You may be given medication to help you sleep without addressing the underlying condition; it is really important you receive a full assessment with a specialist professional to get the treatment and help you need to reduce your symptoms. To achieve a precise diagnosis, our experts will perfom a full assessment in order to understand potential causes and ongoing factors. Then they will cooperatively develop your treatment goals and a programme of dedicated support.

Learn to positively influence your anxiety

Generalised anxiety disorders (GAD) can be treated with a combination of treatment and therapies. Psychoeducation can support you to recognise the basis of your personal challenges and how your feelings can escalate and impact on you physically. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘cycle of fear or anxiety.’ Learning relaxation techniques and mindfulness help you regulate these symptoms and teach your body to change from a state of unease and tension to one of peacefulness and improved wellbeing. Psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) support you to reduce negative thoughts and assist in gaining a more proportionate perspective on the things that you worry about.

At Schoen Clinic, we design your treatment based on the current recommendations of the experts in the field of anxiety and mood disorders. We therefore utilise evidence based practice that has been tried and tested to provide the best opportunity for recovery and relapse prevention.

Our personalised approach means we design the programme of treatment around your needs and symptoms and we will frequently review your programme as a multidisciplinary team. Our team consists of: consultant psychiatrists, nurses, psychotherapists/psychologists, family therapists and occupational therapists. They will apply a consistent and empathic approach to working with you and ensure they support you in all aspects of your life.

Individual programmes

Individual programmes are tailor-made to each patient’s needs and progress. The following provides a guide to the typical building blocks of our day treatment programmes, all of which include a number of 1:1 weekly  sessions with members of the multidisciplinary team.

Therapies and interventions

We provide the following therapies and interventions. These may be delivered on a 1:1 or group basis by members of the multidisciplinary team.

  • Psychoeducation
  • Relapse prevention
  • Peer led support
  • Applied relaxation
  • Social issues
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Self-esteem/Building resilience
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Art/Drama
  • Family therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Movement
  • Food preparation/cooking
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Schema

Our specialists

Our team of experts consist of consultant psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, therapists, and specialist nurses who work together as a multidisciplinary team for the benefit of every patient in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Our specialised clinic

Our day clinic offer you a personalised treatment programme in the treatment of anxiety disorders within our day programme.