There’s a recipe for generalized anxiety disorder. Just a bit of this and a bit of that, and your anxious meal is complete.

Me worry? Why of course not, I just have uncontrollable bouts of hysterical concern, that’s all. I just rage against logic depending on the dramatic scenario in my head.

Maybe I stay up all night wishing for world peace, trying to figure out if I made anyone mad lately and wondering if my son, away at college, is delving in drug use. Yeah, I don’t worry, I go insane. It’s just generalized anxiety disorder  -nothing more/nothing less.

I think it’s important to understand as much as you can about generalized anxiety disorder. It’s complicated, and its characteristics can be confusing. My friend, yeah you, the one sitting by the window with a racing heart heard and increased breathing, the one that it’s in obvious secret distress…

What creates anxiety? How do we form in different ways than all the rest?

You turn to me and say,

“This is what happened. This is why you’re screwed up.”

1. You over-analyzed everything, it was natural.

I think you were born with a question on your lips. You wanted to know “who” and “what” was wrong with everything around you. Even when you were happy, you wanted to know “why”. You wanted to know the good things too, and that was okay, but sometimes you got lost in figuring out things and how they worked. This is one ingredient in your anxiety soup.

2. Your imagination was astounding

Those dramas and dreams you created in your head while riding the school bus home… yeah, not everyone did that. Yes, everyone has dreams, but your imagination was detailed and refined, filled with every single idea you could cram into your head.

As an adult, you see the basis for those anxiety-filled scenarios that won’t let you sleep at night. Blame your imagination for being the herb and spice of your life.

3. Your heart is fragile

Everything touched you, and as a child, you cried easily. It’s not because you were a coward. No, your heart is big and soft, symbolically of course, and you find beauty in everything. This caused you to remain sensitive to people and your environment. Everything touches you, both positively and negatively, and it added flavor to your generalized anxiety disorder.

4. You were content in your solitude

You were definitely an introvert, and you always will be. As a child, you had no problem with being alone, you even preferred it. In this space is where you created your imaginary friends, thanks to that great big imagination of yours.

Being alone doesn’t help in all ways, however, it allowed that anxiety soup to churn and bubble with thoughts and emotions swirling about. It was quiet and no one disturbed the process.

5. You could never sit still

Call it energy or call it boredom, but when you bit your nails and tapped your feet, you drove your brother crazy. They didn’t know, your family, and you couldn’t help it. You were only trying to distract the voices in your head from telling you to worry again.

From the beginning, you fidgeted and now you move about because it’s hard to wait for answers. You still do the same things, and even developed a few more habits along the way.

6. You are so smart, my dear

From the beginning, your intellect was obvious. You asked questions that mom and dad couldn’t answer. You were bored in school and so you make bad grades because you didn’t listen. Your intellect caused trouble for you then, and it still does now. Because you know so many things, it gives you more to worry about. It doesn’t end, but you get used to it.

7. You were always so negative

It was fear, I think, which fueled your negativity as a child. You imagined the worst if something was going wrong. When trying to make friends, you had no confidence that you would be successful in the venture. All was lost before it even began. Unfortunately, this is how you think today, for the most part.

Will you ever be able to stomach your anxiety soup?

“Probably not.” According to you.

We are so much alike, you and I. Yes, the very fabric of this information is laced with a negative tone that we probably share. It’s part of what we deal with every day. I see you there, the part of me that wishes for a better life, I see you stare out the window wondering if the weather will be bad today, and I realize something.

The soup is done. Everything I needed was with me all along, the ingredients mixed together in perfection have created something almost unbearable. So be kind, if you can.

Over 18% of the adult population has generalized anxiety disorder, with 4% being severe cases. If you suffer, I wish you the best. I know the ingredients to your sickness, but that gives me hope for creating something new.

It’s possible and it’s the light at the end of my dark tunnel.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Kddomingue

    God amighty damn! You’ve described my childhood. My husband asked me once why I played certain games on my tablet. I told him that if my brain was occupied with finding sequences, that nagging, anxious, worrywart part of my brain was distracted and shut up for a while and gave me some peace for a small space of time.

  2. J.Picard

    Thank you for a great article. Validation at last. Your simple and accurate criteria is a welcomed godsend. Now, I have answers to how my childhood formed the adult. I do believe my mother had GAD. It is so nice to know that I was not alone in all this….some other people experience the same thing. I can remember as a child in the sixties that the first course of action was always drugs and more drugs for doctors to prescribe and you never questioned anything… were told to get over it. Move on…..funny how some things have changed nowadays…we talk about it……. and its not so taboo. Thank you again.


  3. Thea Dunlap

    I checked 4 out of the 7 traits. Well I sometimes get anxiety attacks if nothing goes according to plan or what I expected.

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