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Anxiety Disorder and Uncertainty

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From England: If I’m doing something new I get very anxious, because it is new I can’t accept it and deal with it as it comes, I have to make phone calls and send messages to find out everything so what comes is less of a surprise. I have even been known to reject some things in order to reduce the anxiety I was feeling and get back in control. This has led me to not having a job when I was capable of doing the training for it, it’s just that I can’t settle not knowing what things are all about before I start. I worry about how I will cope and how I will do things, plenty of what ifs and how’s, I know it isn’t the way, but I find myself doing these things and then feeling guilty if I’ve not completed them. I don’t regard myself as lazy,but I just want things to be simple so I can cope with them and the more complicated they seem the more pressure I put on myself to get out of the situation as quickly as poss.

Anxiety Disorder and Uncertainty

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What you are describing is consistent with a generalized anxiety disorder. You don’t have to continue to suffer like this.

Life will inevitably hand you new things to deal with. Unless you are willing to live in a cave and do nothing, you need to learn new ways to handle novel situations and to be easier on yourself. If you could do that on your own, you would have done so already.

I strongly suggest that you see a counselor. Cognitive behavior therapy is well-documented as a treatment for this diagnosis. You might also want to try some medication to reduce the anxiety a bit so you will be more able to take advantage of the advice that is offered. Talk to your clinician about a comprehensive treatment plan.

You are in your 50s. With some support, there is every reason to believe that you can make the next 50 years be more comfortable ones.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Anxiety Disorder and Uncertainty

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Anxiety Disorder and Uncertainty. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 24 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.