Do I have an anxiety disorder?

Information written and reviewed by Certified Doctors.

If you're experiencing symptoms of anxiety over a long period of time, you may have an anxiety disorder.

For more information about symptoms, read Why do I feel anxious and panicky?

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition that can make you feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

You may have GAD if:

  • your worrying is uncontrollable and causes distress
  • your worrying affects your daily life, including school, your job and your social life
  • you cannot let go of your worries
  • you worry about all sorts of things, such as your job or health, and minor concerns, such as household chores

You should see your doctor if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress. They can diagnose your condition based on your symptoms, which may include:

  • feeling restless or on edge
  • being irritable
  • getting tired easily
  • having difficulty concentrating or feeling your mind goes blank
  • having difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • having tense muscles

If you're diagnosed with GAD, there is treatment available. Read more information about treating GAD.

Other types of anxiety disorder

There are several other types of anxiety disorder, including:

  • panic disorder – a condition where you have recurring, regular panic attacks; for more information, see What is a panic attack?
  • phobias – an extreme or irrational fear of something, like an animal or a place
  • agoraphobia – several phobias related to situations such as leaving home, being in crowds or travelling alone
  • obsessive compulsive disorder – a condition that usually involves unwanted thoughts or urges, and repetitive behaviours
  • post-traumatic stress disorder – a condition caused by frightening or distressing events.
Content supplied by NHS Choices