Many people I know claim that life stresses them out, and for all I know, they’re probably telling the truth. Some, however, often say they feel anxiety over the major issues in their lives. When I hear this, I can’t help but smile. You see, I suffered from generalized anxiety disorder for most of my life. While they may experience brief episodes of worry over life altering events that anyone would worry about, I would often find myself anxiously worried about everything. From the mundane and miniscule to the full scale and future altering, if it existed…I was anxious about it. If being anxious were a career choice, I would have been a high PhD toting, high powered executive.
The biggest difference between those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and the population at large is the limited amount of control sufferers have over their thought processes. I used to worry uncontrollably about things over which I had little if any control. In fact, I often worried excessively about things that had no choice but to resolve themselves. My anxiety caused me to spend a great deal of time focusing on things that didn’t merit the degree of concern I imparted them. Additionally, all the anxiety I felt over these everyday events wore on me, both mentally and physically.
Generalized anxiety disorder can be difficult to diagnose. I was lucky enough to have a physician who recognized some of the symptoms based on our conversations and recommended me to a specialist. Now that I’ve been diagnosed, I have successfully controlled my anxiety through behavior therapy, medication and relaxation techniques.
If you or someone you know feels overly anxious about the everyday events that all people experience, I encourage you to get more information on anxiety disorders. There are several excellent free resources on the web where you can view the symptoms of anxiety disorders to help determine if you may be suffering from anxiety. Always consult your physician regarding your medical concerns and remember, help is available.