Why am I constantly worrying?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: Well, for most of my life I have had an issue with worrying about things constantly. It’s not usually just about one thing. I have always been the type of person to worry, but I feel like I am worrying about EVERYTHING. Ever since I was little I always worry about people looking at me or watching me. I am so self-conscious and I feel like I need constant approval from everyone. I have a boyfriend and we have been together for about a year and a half. I know that he is not going anywhere and I know that he is in love with me, but I constantly need reassurance. Almost everyday I ask him if everything is ok even if I did not do anything wrong. I NEED him to reassure me everything is fine. I need to actually hear him say it or I will worry about it until he says it later. Even when I try to sleep I find myself worrying about things that will not happen for a long time or that will probably never happen. I have also realized that I often worry about dying. I am always thinking that there is something wrong with me. If I have a headache I am afraid I might have an aneurism and die or if I have a body ache I am afraid I might have cancer. I was just wondering if worrying so much is normal? I mean, I know that everybody worries, but I worry that I worry too much. I just don’t want people to think that I am being too annoying. I just don’t feel normal.

A: It must be very, very hard to live like this. I’m glad you wrote. It’s possible you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Go to our library and see if the symptoms match what you experience. If so, there are steps you can take to feel better. First, go to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for a professional evaluation. If the diagnosis of GAD is correct, the treatment of choice is some medication to give you a little relief and some talk therapy to teach you ways to calm yourself and manage your worries. I hope you’ll follow through. Both you and your boyfriend deserve some peace.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Aug 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Why am I constantly worrying?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/08/06/why-am-i-constantly-worrying/