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24 Things People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder Want You To Know

WHERE DID THIS EXISTENTIAL DREAD COME FROM?

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1. Generalized anxiety disorder is more complicated than just worrying a lot.

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It's more like being followed around by this omnipresent cloud of dread and fear determined to rain on every tiny aspect of your life. Plus other symptoms, too.

2. It's not the same thing as social anxiety.

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Social situations might cause some anxiety, but that's more a side effect of most everything causing anxiety. That said, GAD can exist alongside other anxiety disorders like social anxiety, as well as other mental illnesses like depression.

4. But then, we also do over stupid, small, irrational things.

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Did I lock the door? I know I already checked, but am I sure? What if something happens to me and no one thinks to check on me? WHAT WAS THAT STRANGE NOISE BECAUSE IT DEFINITELY WASN'T JUST THE WIND.

7. A big part of GAD is the frustration that comes with it.

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One second I'm safe in my apartment watching Netflix, the next it's like UGH WTF WHY DO I FEEL THIS EXISTENTIAL DREAD WHY CAN'T I BREATHE NORMALLY ANYMORE THERE IS LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENING WHY???

10. We have a complicated relationship with "calming" activities, to say the least.

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Sometimes, that stuff helps. Sometimes, there's just no effing way.

12. We might come across as a little uptight when it comes to making solid plans.

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Being able to schedule things and have a plan helps us chill, so ~winging things~ is just not enjoyable. Can we just decide when and where we're going to meet?

13. And open-endedness = torture.

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You're running late? OK, so do I sit here and do nothing for what could be, like, three hours? Do I start something that will inevitably be interrupted when you get here in five minutes? Did you die on your way over? UGH WHY CAN'T I JUST RELAX?

14. You might think we're prone to canceling plans thanks to anxiety, but we don't do it lightly.

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In fact, it actually causes MORE stress because then you have to think of excuses and worry about disappointing your friends, and ugh. Nope. We basically have to force ourselves.

15. Keeping busy is super important for keeping sane.

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Whether it's diving into our work or taking up knitting, doing something is always better than doing nothing and getting lost in our thoughts.

20. We can keep ourselves awake at night for hours on end just by thinking too much.

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Which sucks, because sleep is precious. Sometimes, it feels like the only time we can turn the off switch on our emotions.

24. Other than that, we don't expect you to know the right thing to do or say. We just appreciate you being there.

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So thank you.

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