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NHS Kernow’s website closed on 30 June 2022. Visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board website for information about our health and care services.


Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety during their lifetime. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an examination or having a medical test or job interview.
Feeling anxious sometimes is perfectly normal. However, for people with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), feelings of anxiety are much more constant and tend to affect their day-to-day life. There are several conditions for which anxiety is the main symptom. Panic disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic syndrome can all cause severe anxiety.

Generalised anxiety disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long term condition that makes people feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than 1 specific event.

People with GAD find that they feel anxious most days, and will often struggle to remember the last time that they felt relaxed. GAD can cause both psychological and physical symptoms. GAD affects approximately 1 in 50 people at some stage during their lifetime. Slightly more women are affected than men, and the disorder is most common during your 20s.

GAD can significantly affect your daily life, making it difficult for you to perform everyday tasks. However, there are several different treatment options available, which can help ease both your psychological and physical symptoms.

NHS 24/7 helpline

To talk to someone about your mental wellbeing you can call the 24/7 NHS mental health telephone support helpline on 0800 038 5300 for advice and triage. Support is available to anyone, regardless of age, all day every day. If you or someone you know feels they need to access urgent mental health support, they will listen to you and assess how best to help.

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