Generalised Anxiety Disorder


Occasional anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, but when it becomes prolonged or extreme, then this could be an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any age and can interfere with daily life and enjoyment of normal activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Psychological Symptoms

  • restlessness
  • feeling “on edge” all the time
  • a sense of dread
  • worrying
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

Physical Symptoms

  • headaches, dizziness
  • tiredness, insomnia
  • palpitations, short breath
  • tension, muscle aches
  • trembling or shaking
  • excessive sweating
  • nausea, stomach ache


Sometimes an anxiety disorder may be due to a phobia or panic disorder, in which case the cause is clear and obvious.

However, GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) may not always have a specific cause. In fact, not understanding why you are feeling anxious can be a cause of further anxiety.

Conventional Treatments

Traditional treatment options may include:

  • Self-help – courses at home or with a group
  • CBT – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Mindfulness/relaxation
  • Medication – anti-depressant tablets are usually the first option; although anticonvulsant and sedative tablets are also sometimes prescribed

Treatment for anxiety will take into consideration any other related issues – both those which may cause the anxiety, such as phobias, depression; and issues which may result from anxiety, such as drug or alcohol misuse.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Anxiety

On the basis of research, Smart TMS believe that Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) could offer sufferers of generalised anxiety disorder an alternative treatment option by working directly on the associated areas of the brain.

This would also offer the benefit of being a non-medication approach, avoiding potentially unpleasant side-effects associated with drugs.

rTMS Treatment Centres

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy treatment for generalised anxiety disorder is available at Smart TMS, based at an expanding network of clinics in the UK and Ireland. See our clinic locations for more information.

Smart TMS was the first UK clinic to offer treatments for anything other than depression.

To discuss this further, please contact us.

Anxiety and TMS Treatment

Research and Studies

There is evidence from research that rTMS can be helpful in reducing generalised anxiety disorder.

Research Studies

Twenty five participants (active n = 13; sham, n = 12) enrolled. All were aged over 18 with a diagnosis of GAD as the principal or coprincipal disorder of at least moderate severity.

rTMS was targeted at the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, 1 Hz, 90% resting motor threshold).

Response and remission rates were higher in the group receiving rTMS treatment and there were significant group x time interactions for anxiety, worry and depressive symptoms.

Report Conclusion:

“Findings provide preliminary evidence that rTMS may improve GAD symptoms in association with modifying neural activity in the stimulation site.”

If you would like to discuss the use of rTMS in the treatment of anxiety disorders, please contact Dr Neal on