September 10, 2012 4:46 PM Subscribe
This question is probably very similar
, but what is a normal degree of worrywarting vs. an anxiety disorder or personality disorder?
posted by bad grammar to health & fitness (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I come from a family of worrywarts. My sisters seem to have escaped the pattern, but my parents definitely have it.
Anything new tends to elicit anxiety. So does dependence on spur-of-the-moment types. We can be sitting around for hours waiting on our spur-of-the-moment, always-late friends to arrive for dinner and chewing our collective fingernails.
Trips elicit frantic planning. I am freaking out right now with worry that the person organizing accommodations for an academic conference has not booked my room. Flying also makes me nervous as despite the statistically tiny likelihood of airplane crashes, I can't convince myself that the plane is safe.
Work is also a source of worry. I worry that I will be blamed for not acting immediately on e-mails that I was supposed to get at work and didn't because less organized or more overwhelmed people didn't forward them.
I don't enjoy "new experiences" the way you are supposed to. Last year I went on a trip to Rome, Italy by myself (no tour) and spent the time frantically trying to make connections, find museums, and avoid being run over by maniacs on motorbikes. La dolce vita, not.
I prefer buying things, but if I order from eBay and they don't arrive on time I start worrying that I have been ripped off. Someone stole my credit card number last year, and I had it changed, but since then I have had a phobia that people are going to hack into my accounts.
My parents and I also hoard things. The house is presentable but the closets and drawers are not.
I don't have a lot of friends (neither do they). I don't do much Facebook either, mainly because crafting a presentable self would elicit anxiety on the order of the family's annual Christmas letter, which is written usually around Dec. 23rd and mailed in haste.
Doubtless those of a certain persuasion on Mefi would advise smoking pot to chill out, but then I would be fantasizing that the DEA was about to bust my house or that I would lose my job (at a highly anti-drug workplace). I also suspect I'd hate it (my mother tried it back in the day and hated it).
I and my parents are all high-detail professionals.
I realize all this is absurd, worthy of those Roz Chast cartoons where the woman looks as if she has eight arms because she's waving them frantically.
I have not had bona fide panic attacks (the ones where you feel you're dying). I don't feel that I qualify for generalized anxiety disorder. I may qualify for OCPD. I am taking an antidepressant but am not in therapy. Is this a normal range of behavior? Do I need therapy, or is it foolish to think I should be able to change myself into a different, low-stress, high-adventure, high-risk, extroverted person?