What is Generalised Anxiety Disorder?

  • Sharebar

Alice had been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. She sat paralysed with fear, confined to home as her mind raced with worrying thoughts. Alice had experienced periods of anxiety before, and like most people she gradually got over it. But this was different; it started with her eldest daughter Zoe getting in with the wrong crowd. The new boyfriend was into drugs and Alice worried that Zoe's school work and gymnastics would suffer.

Worry and panic seemed to dominate every waking moment.

Even when Zoe eventually stopped seeing the boyfriend, Alice could not sleep. But it did not stop there. When she met the other mums at school, endless negative thoughts about what they would think brought on panic attacks. Alice knew that this was crazy because they had all been so kind and understanding. Over the next two months things got steadily worse, she felt sick, exhausted and constantly worried about things that she used to take in her stride.

Characterised by persistent worrying over non-threatening events, generalised anxiety disorder makes your brain perceive everyday events as frightening. Picking the kids up from school, going shopping or even for a walk can feel like impossible tasks.


  • Illnesses or imbalance in the body. A virus or poor nutrition
  • The way that you think about life's' events, or, interpret the world around you
  • Medical and recreational drugs
  • Alcohol abuse

Common symptoms

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Waking up with a nervous feeling in your stomach
  • Daily worry about present or future events
  • Headaches
  • Constipation and or diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Alice's doctor prescribed antidepressants, but three months later she still found even a trip to the supermarket an ordeal. Feelings of panic would flood her body if she thought about Zoe, meeting other people or doing the most simple of tasks. Even when her husband got a stomach bug she panicked that it was something much worse. Alice's recovery A therapist helped Alice realise that expecting everything to go wrong was contributing to the panic. Instead of sitting for hours vividly imagining horrid outcomes; Alice made a persistent effort to expect the best in all situations. She also learnt how to relax in situations that had previously caused the panic. Other things that contributed to Alice feeling calmer and enjoying life again were

  • Learning self hypnosis and enjoying its relaxing effects every day
  • Making effort to have quality time with Zoe again
  • Improving her eating habits by having a protein rich breakfast and nutritious food throughout the day
  • Walking to her local shop every day, then eventually to a nearby friends and supermarket
  • Starting doing tapestries again, something that she used to love
  • Actively challenging any negative thoughts that popped up for no real reason and thinking instead of multiple ways of explaining something to herself.

One in four people at any time during their lives will suffer debilitation from an anxiety disorder. People with general anxiety disorder like Alice are a familiar sight to doctors. They can offer help through medication but like Alice many find the symptoms are alleviated by an appropriate talking therapy, hypnosis, exercise and nutrition.

How to get stress, fear and anxiety under control

Click here to get our co-founder Mark Tyrrell's tips, tricks and techniques for beating fear and anxiety, gathered from over 15 years of treating anxiety conditions.

About the author

Mark Tyrrell is a therapist, trainer and author and is the co-founder of
Hypnosis Downloads, the web's most popular hypnosis site
where you can get a cutting-edge hypnosis session for almost any situation.



Mark Tyrrell
Creative Director Uncommon Knowledge

Mark Tyrrell is a Director of Uncommon Knowledge and has been training therapists for over 15 years.


"Yesterday I received the CD I ordered on "Stop Panic attacks". The CD is great. It allowed me to go into deep relaxation . It is definitely the best I have on relaxation. The background info is very interesting as well. Excellent work!"

Jane Denton, London, UK


"Just a wee note to say a huge thank you for your help in the treatment of panic attacks/anxiety.? I've found your emails really interesting and...


"...truly amazing!"

" I would just like to let you know that I received your CD: 'Panic Prevention Program'. "

"Though I have only listened to the CD for a week I thought I should let you know how very helpful it has been to me. Theinformation on the first side is very reassuring. I learn something new every time I listen to it."

"The hypnotic relaxation session was like no other relaxation CD I have ever tried. A deep relaxation that leaves me feeling relaxed and refreshed for hours - truly amazing!"

"Surprisingly - today I was shopping in a medium store (where I would usually begin to feel trapped and panicky) and all of a sudden I felt as calm as before I had my first panic attack and agoraphobia - it was amazing and I hope it keeps up."

Thank you, Mary.

Mary Goodrow,
Rochester, Michigan USA