When Worry Becomes Chronic
At The Center For Anxiety & GroundWork Counseling in Orlando we specialize in treating anxiety disorders in both children and adults using evidence-based treatment methods. If you feel that your worries have become chronic, we’re here to help.
With everything that’s going on in our world, it’s not unusual to feel worried at times. You may worry about your health, your career, your children, your parents, and your financial situation. You may worry about your friends and your community and you may worry about things that are going on in the world right now. Occasional worry affects us all, but for some worry becomes a problem and begins to take over their entire life. You may struggle with more chronic worry if:
- Worry begins to interfere with day-to-day living.
- You have a difficult time focusing at work and worry begins to affect your relationships.
- You feel keyed up and experience physical tension and discomforts, such as trembling, fatigue, sweating and lightheadedness.
- Worry keeps you from falling asleep at night or you wake up in the middle of the night and begin worrying and can’t go back to sleep.
- Your worry has become chronic – you are unable to do anything about your worry and it controls your life.
When you become a chronic worrier, your mind constantly conjures up terrible scenarios of things going horribly wrong. While most of us assume safety unless proven otherwise, the chronic worrier assumes danger unless proven otherwise. Often, one worry leads to another: “If I do this, then this will happen. And if this happens, then that will happen”. Disaster after disaster is created in the mind and although this constant worrying creates a great deal of anxiety and discomfort, the chronic worrier may insist that they worry in order to:
- Avoid imminent disaster
- Prepare to cope with everything that might go wrong
- Prevent disappointment
- Prevent feelings of guilt
- Show that I care
The clinical name for this type of chronic worry is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The DSM-5 criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder is: “The presence of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities. Worry occurs more often than not for at least 6 months and is clearly excessive.”
The treatment of choice for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Research has shown CBT is significantly more effective than all other psychological treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. CBT teaches different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations that reduce anxiety and worry.
If you recognize that worrying has become a problem for you and worry has taken control of your life (or a part of your life), it’s a good idea to seek help from a therapist that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Left untreated, anxiety disorders generally worsen, so it’s a good idea to seek help as soon as you recognize having the problem of excessive worrying. If you think you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder or another anxiety disorder, it is important to know that therapists who are most helpful with anxiety disorders are those who have received specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
At GroundWork Counseling, we specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders using evidence-based treatment approaches. Overwhelming research suggests Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the treatment of choice for most disorders, with numerous studies supporting CBT treatment for anxiety disorders.
Speak With An Orlando Anxiety Therapist