Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a problem with worry that is excessive and uncontrollable. It’s typically about daily life events and activities. My clients with anxiety often experience uncomfortable physical symptoms, including fatigue and sore muscles. They can also have trouble sleeping and concentrating.
While the main symptom of GAD is worry, most people first notice the discomfort they feel in their bodies, instead of the worrisome thoughts. In fact, many people with GAD will visit their family doctors because of this physical discomfort. They don’t make a link, so they’ll often not even mention that they worry excessively.
Some of the physical feelings that worry can lead to are:
- Physical feelings of anxiety (e.g. heart racing, sweating, stomach discomfort)
- Feeling fidgety, restless or unable to sit still
- Feeling irritable, getting easily upset, snapping at people for minor reasons
- Sleep problems: this can include having a hard time falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, or having a restless and unsatisfying sleep
- Difficulty paying attention or concentrating
- Being easily fatigued
- Muscle pains (often in the neck and shoulders)