The Gifts of GAD
“I am plagued by doubts.” – Woody Allen
Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) without the help of counseling can be a nightmare. The hallmark of GAD, excessive worry coupled with upsetting physical symptoms, robs people of sleep, the present, and just simple peace of mind. People with GAD live in almost constant apprehension; they are primed for fight or flight at any moment. It’s exhausting.
With counseling, the symptoms of GAD can be lessened, but the symptoms and their causes are what have to be identified. Exploring the core reasons for one’s anxiety can be very anxiety-provoking! For this reason, some people with GAD try to allay their anxiety with external remedies, some of which are healthy such as exercise or meditation, or some not so healthy, such as drugs, alcohol, or overeating.
If a person with GAD manages to sidestep the deleterious effects of addiction and commits to counseling, the “gifts of GAD” can be uncovered. How can an anxiety disorder offer gifts? Well, number one, people with terrible anxiety are hypervigilant, on the lookout for any perceived harm in their environments. This can have a positive effect; in fact, a study has revealed that teenagers with anxiety disorders are less likely to die in fatal accidents. Hypervigilance seems to have its rewards. On a far less dramatic yet still meaningful level, people with anxiety often fear embarrassment, so are more likely to succeed in school or sports activities. And don’t ignore the value of having an anxiety disorder: it tends to make us more open and understanding about others’ battles, whether they are mental or physical.
Counseling for GAD is not only about uncovering the positives of dealing with the disorder, of course. It’s mostly focused on identifying symptoms and then, through cognitive behavioral therapy (or other methods), minimizing those symptoms and putting safeguards in place to lessen the likelihood of them resurfacing. Piper Walsh has years of experience helping people overcome GAD by providing them with a safe place in which to explore the roots of their anxiety. Book an appointment with her today and start dealing with your GAD – you might even find something to feel positive about!