Anxious people spend a lot of energy worrying, which makes them unhappy and unproductive.
A farmer confided in me that, for nearly 10 years, he was very much afraid to leave the farm, for even a few hours. “What if the barn burns down while I’m gone?”, he added. His wife runs all the errands and he rarely goes out anymore.
Another farmer told me he was so worried about having to speak in public that he avoided going to meetings. Yet another farmer was very concerned about his retirement… at only 24 years of age!
We all go through periods of anxiety in our life. To a certain extent, worrying helps us to prevent, face or avoid certain dangers. However, some people suffer from what is called “generalized anxiety disorder” (GAD).
People with this disorder worry excessively about anything and everything. They cannot tolerate uncertainty. Their disorder interferes to a great extent with their personal and professional lives. People who are anxious worry about a variety of issues such as health, money, work, family and interpersonal relationships.
People prone to anxiety entertain catastrophic scenarios that will most likely never occur, but they also don’t do anything to avoid them. They become hyper-vigilant and are almost constantly on guard. They spend a considerable amount of energy worrying, which exhausts them and makes them miserable as well as unproductive, adding an extra burden to those around them.
Anxiety is associated with a specific idea that makes a person either overestimate the probability of danger, or underestimate their ability to cope with situations. People suffering from anxiety excel at identifying potential problems, but they are much less able to solve real problems.
Approximately 7% of women and 4% of men suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety is fairly easy to treat with medication or cognitive‑behavioural therapy, or both. Therapy provided by a psychologist helps to better control beliefs that create anxiety. These beliefs include the need for love and recognition from everyone, to perform at all costs, to be the best and control everything, and so on.
Symptoms of GAD:
- Experiencing anxiety and excessive worries most of the time, for a period of at least six months, regarding at least two issues: money, insecurity, relationships, work, health, family or others;
- Difficulty controlling these worries;
- At least three of the following six symptoms:
- Agitation or the feeling of either being overexcited or at the end of one’s rope
- Difficulty concentrating or of ‘drawing a blank’
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbances
Anxiety has a very negative effect on a person’s quality of life in general, and it can also lead to depression. Individuals are not forced to live with this problem. It is possible to regain control. If anxiety is out of control, getting professional help is an excellent solution, because taking action is anxiety’s worst enemy.
Work Psychologist, professionnal speaker, author and business coach