G.A.D Me Out!

Statistically, 4% of Hong Kong population is suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD. People with GAD would experience nervousness, muscle tension and even low quality sleep for no less than six months. Some may even fall into a vicious circle due to worrying too much of their worries.

Take Nathan as an example. He had to look after the hospitalized wife and his children while he had to continue with his busy work. In Nathan’s mind, he always worried about his wife’s health, the medical expenses and whether he could take good care of his children. Physically, he felt pain in the stomach, as well as difficulty in concentration and sleeping. Behaviorally, whenever Nathan worried, he tended to look up for related health information online, and give his wife a call to find consolation, which would surely affect his daily work. When such worries become uncontrollable, GAD is approaching.

"Anxiety Diary” and "Anxiety Time” May Help

Nathan’s case is not uncommon. In fact, we may all have had moments that those worries became uncontrollable.

"Anxiety Diary”  Record and distinguish the source of the worry is worth trying. We may gradually discover that most of the worry is "hypothetical”, that is no instant solution could be taken.
"Anxiety Time” Reserve a period of "Anxiety Time” every day to specifically think about and deal with mental anxiety, and put ourselves together in the rest of the day to focus on the instant moment.


When we understand that "hypothetical worries” are mainly caused by nervousness but not real situations, we could pull our attention back to current matter. As the worries become less important, peaceful mind would slowly return.

Symptoms of GAD

People with GAD often worry about a lot of things. This does not only make them anxious and nervous, but also causes muscle tension and even lower their sleep quality. Anxiety and nerve may increase when they feel more anxious for being overly worried. In a long run, their mind, behavior, and physical reaction would form a vicious cycle to keep the problem going.

Physical Reaction Nervous, irritable, edgy, accelerated heartbeat, fatigue, hard to breath, sweat, headache, stomachache, shaky hands, muscle tension or pain, insomnia, frequent urination.
Behavior Tensed, perfectionism, needing affirmation from others, procrastination, wasting time on worries, indecisive, difficult to let go of anxiety.
Mind hard to focus, low in attention, worry of being overly worried, worry of wrong decision, tend to imagine worse, lack of confidence, like to consider "what if”.


**The above content is for reference only. If you have more questions, please seek professional advice from clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

If you are suffering from the similar problem as Nathan, you may contact the Jockey Club eGPS Psychological Support Project (eGPS) of New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association at https://www.egps.hk