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My Generalized Anxiety Disorder Can't Be Cured by Just 'Not Worrying'

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I remember starting kindergarten and being so anxious every day. This kept going and only got worse. Around the time I was 8 years old I started seeing a therapist who diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

I have many chronic illnesses including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, so my whole life I would get sick and have many pains that only added to my anxiety.

Most of the things I worried about weren’t concrete. I didn’t think I would be kidnapped or my school would blow up, I just had this cloud hanging over me telling me something bad would happen.

Many people have said things to me like “there’s nothing to worry about!” or “just stop worrying!” But it’s nowhere near that simple. Generalized anxiety disorder is hard for me to explain because sometimes I get panic or anxiety attacks when no one realizes I’m anxious. But trust me, it’s always there.

I’ve tried anti-anxiety medications but they didn’t have much of an effect on me. I’ve tried deep breathing and meditation, but every single time I try to sit in silence, the worries just get louder. And trust me, I’ve tried to “just stop worrying.” It is so much more than that.

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Originally published: January 27, 2017
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