Anxiety:The Disorder of Caring Too Much

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common types of mental health issues that affect people today. These disorders impact those who have them on many levels including mind, body, emotions, and soul. 

In my opinion, one of the biggest ways that anxiety affects people cognitively is through causing them to care (or worry) too much about a wide array of things. Common things that people with anxiety disorders care too much about are keeping others happy and safe, caring too much about fitting in, caring too much about germs and contamination , caring too much about inconveniencing others, caring too much about upsetting others, caring too much about their appearance, caring too much about others perceptions of them, caring too much about their job, caring too much about following rules and rituals, etc. This caring too much that I am referring to is not just a matter of these things being important to the person with anxiety but is rather the idea that not caring enough, not acting out of this obsessive caring, will have dreaded results and feels intolerable.

This conceptualization of anxiety is related to CBT and REBT theories of counseling which assert that the messages you tell yourself and the dysfunctional beliefs that you hold on to, cause and/or maintain psychological issues including anxiety and depressive disorders.

So what can be done to stop this cycle? In all honesty, it can’t be completely eliminated.  However, through talking with others about these thoughts-whether it be a professional,  friend, or significant other you choose to share with- and through practicing more helpful self talk (eg. “I cannot please everyone. I will do my best and that is good enough.”) a person can begin to feel less overwhelmed by these thoughts and feelings of caring so much.

However, this caring too much associated with anxiety isn’t all bad. The flip side is that those who care too much also tend to be very empathetic, considerate, kind, and detail-oriented people!

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