Your doctor will check your physical health and look for signs and symptoms of an underlying medical condition – to decide whether these may be causing your anxiety.1

To help diagnose an anxiety disorder, your doctor may give you a psychological evaluation. This involves discussing your thoughts, feelings and behaviour to help refine the diagnosis and check for related complications e.g. other mental health problems like depression or substance misuse.1

To assess if you may be suffering from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) your doctor will ask you about the frequency (how often), description (character) and severity of your symptoms.2 Learn more about anxiety

Questions that your doctor may ask about your anxiety symptoms include2:

  • Does your anxiety concern every day or routine circumstances or events (e.g. job responsibility, yours or a family member’s health, finances, or other tasks like housework)?

  • Is your anxiety difficult to control?

  • Do you also have symptoms like restlessness, concentration problems, irritability, tension, or extreme tiredness (fatigue)?

  • Have your symptoms been present for more than six (6) months?

  • Are your symptoms present more days than not

  • Do your symptoms cause significant distress to you, or does it negatively affect (impair) your social life/work?

Your doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire like the Generalised Anxiety Disorder seven-item (GAD-7) scale to help them refine your diagnosis, monitor your symptoms and check if you are responding to treatment or not.2

Get your anxiety under control using the tips in this handy booklet

  1. Diagnosis & treatment. Anxiety disorders. 04 May 2018. Mayo clinic. Available online at [Accessed 05 October 2022].

  2.  Baldwin D. Generalized anxiety disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis. 18 April 2022. UpToDate. Available online at [Accessed 05 October 2022].

  3.  Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JBW, et al. A Brief Measure for Assessing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The GAD-7. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:1092-1097.