Diagnosing generalised anxiety disorder 

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

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can be difficult to diagnose. In some cases, it can also be difficult to distinguish from other mental health conditions, such as depression.

You may have GAD if:

  • your worrying significantly affects your daily life, including your job and social life
  • your worries are extremely 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 nearly every day for at least six months

Talking to your GP about anxiety

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. However, it's important that your GP understands your symptoms and circumstances, so the correct diagnosis can be made.

You're most likely to be diagnosed with GAD if you've had symptoms for six months or more. Finding it difficult to manage your feelings of anxiety is also an indication that you may have the condition.

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

Page last reviewed: 01/02/2016

Next review due: 01/02/2019