• Kristina Cherep

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The Pros & Cons

In case you have not figured it out by now, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Only 3.1% of people in the U.S. suffer from this disorder and woman are twice more likely to have this disorder. There are five other types of anxiety disorders, but this is the one that I fall into. Not everyone who has anxiety has an anxiety disorder. There's a difference and the difference is based upon the stressor, the intensity and length of anxiety.

Someone who experiences anxiety before a big exam does not necessarily suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a natural feeling to have if someone has a stressful event approaching. However, someone with GAD has anxiety almost all the time. They are feeling anxious every day for the big things and the little things. They are also anticipating disaster sometimes for a reason and sometimes for no reason at all. I personally anticipate disaster every day.

For me, I am a walking example of a typical person with GAD. Below I have listed out my pros and cons of having GAD. First, let's start with the cons...

- Feeling anxious for no reason

- Becoming anxious for something that will happen a month/year/ten years from now

- Heart pounding without doing physical activity

- Frequent head aches

- Hyperventilating

- Chest and throat tightening up

- Feeling like I can't breath or talk

- Having to go to the bathroom a lot

- Avoiding situations or people

- Thinking about the worse case scenario

- Feeling that a disaster can happen at any time

What I listed above are the cons I have found for having GAD. However, I have found some positive things about my anxiety... yes I did say POSITIVE! I have listed the pros of having GAD...

- Being on time for almost everything

- Completing assignments way before they are due

- Being ambitious and wanting to self-improve

- Being less likely to get a speeding ticket because I think police are always around (knock on wood for me)

- Thinking the worse case scenario, but then the best case scenario happens... That's a nice surprise!

- Remembering small details

- Being a planner and organized

- Being more aware of my surroundings (except for when having an anxiety attack)

- Being more understanding of other people with mental illnesses or disabilities

With any kind of disorder there are always going to be negatives, but there are also positives if you take the time to find them!