Diagnosing Anxiety

NHS

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 have felt worried nearly every day for at least 6 months

Talking to your GP about anxiety

Your GP may ask you questions about:

  • any physical or psychological symptoms and how long you have had them for
  • your worries, fears and emotions
  • your personal life

You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life. But 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 have had symptoms for 6 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:

  • anaemia (a deficiency in iron or vitamin B12 and folate)
  • an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

Useful resources

Boost your happiness and create a kinder world while doing it with the Action for...
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Guided meditations
Personalised Exercise Plans
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Active 10 is a free and easy to use walking app that tracks your walking and shows you...
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Fabulous! Is a motivational app that uses challenges to help build physically and...
MoodMission helps you learn new and better ways of coping with low moods and anxiety...
Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 which uses the...
MindShift CBT is a free self-help anxiety relief app, that helps you reduce worry, stress...
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) offers a range of self-help methods to help you...
What's Up? can help you cope with anxiety, stress and feelings of depression. It has...
Moodpath: Depression and Anxiety is a written mood journal that uses progress reports and...
Guided meditations
It’s an easy to follow programme known the world over, and perfect for those new to...
SuperBetter is a tool created by game designers to help you build resilience and get...

Helplines & Web Chats

Samaritans
Action Mental Health
Association for Post-Natal Illness Helpline
Aware NI - Support Groups
Aware NI - Online Support Groups
Mind - Side by Side Online Community