What you need to know about anxiety

Anxiety disorders

Most people will experience at least one form of anxiety at some point in their life. If you often have intense anxiety about everyday situations and it’s affecting your life, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Those diagnosed with GAD are likely to experience intense anxiety about situations, activities and events that they deal with every day. Worrying about these tasks and events can make it difficult or impossible to complete them. GAD can result in physical symptoms, such as insomnia, headaches and an upset stomach.


Agoraphobia is a fear of certain situations or places, usually, because they cause someone to feel powerless, trapped, overwhelmed or embarrassed. These feelings can become quite extreme and lead to panic attacks.

Panic disorder

If you regularly suffer from sudden panic attacks you may have panic disorder. It can cause severe anxiety and feelings of terror that can get worse very quickly.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD causes unwanted and intrusive thoughts that lead to anxiety. If you have OCD, you may find that you try to counter the thoughts by performing certain rituals to reduce your anxiety. These rituals can include counting, washing your hands or repeatedly checking things.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Traumatic events can cause stress and anxiety long after they’ve happened. When someone experiences a trauma, such as an assault, accident, natural disaster or war, it can trigger PTSD. You may experience flashbacks and have bad dreams, severe anxiety, depression and obsessive thoughts about the event.