Dear Therapist: I struggle with anxiety issues

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 10 Feb 2022, 11:02 PM

I struggle with anxiety issues. It is almost as if after one problem gets sorted, I begin to think something new (negative incident) is going to happen and start worrying about it. Basically, I need to learn how to stay calm and enjoy the little moments in life and live my life without regrets.

— Name Withheld

Dear Writer, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). People struggling with GAD are often labelled as worriers, planning for catastrophes that they foresee for themselves or loved ones. These negative events may range from being chastised for being late to work, missing deadlines, forgetting something important (or even trivial) or consulting doctors for a disease based on self-diagnosis. You may suffer from ruminations or get stuck in loops of thoughts, engaging in problem-solving for events that have not occurred yet. There are many ways that you can recover from such bouts, including practising a relaxation exercise along with engaging in meaningful activities, challenging your worries and trying to be more aware of the present. Sometimes, allotting worry time and postponing worrying about things to this set time has been found to be helpful for some individuals. Apart from these strategies, I recommend that you see a therapist; the worries that people often report can also be trauma responses and, therefore, it is important that you recognise their source before creating solutions.

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