Being anxious occasionally is a normal part of life. We might worry about things like health, money, or family problems. In fact, a speaker at a seminar on anxiety once said that ‘’it is irresponsible not to worry at all about these things. 

But people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), do not just worry occasionally or spare a thought about their health, money or family. They feel extremely worried or feel nervous about these and other things—even when there is little or no reason to worry about them.

My friend ‘’Jasmine’’ who was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder describes it as a total feeling of impending doom, excessive worry and feeling of helplessness and losing control. I found out that telling someone with anxiety disorder that they are in perfect health, have a secured well-paid job or a beautiful family, does nothing to make them feel better, the helplessness and loss of control in itself is what makes it a ‘’disorder’’.

‘’Jasmine’’ has called or shown up at my house several times to talk about how she feels she will lose her job, or how she is very convinced she will have a debilitating illness and die and her husband will remarry and the new wife will mistreat her two young children. She will drown herself in tears, trying to extract a promise from me that when that happens, I will always look out for her kids and will never let them suffer. Needless to add that I always promise, just to help her calm down, albeit my confusion of what might be really going on inside her mind.

On another occasion, ‘’Jasmine’’ called frantically asking to see me immediately. With the news of the novel coronavirus, causing significant income loss and breeding fear among nations, many who suffer anxiety disorders might have relapses (a deterioration in a patient’s condition after a partial recovery,” a return of symptoms or total breakdown) during this pandemic. So on receiving this recent scary call from ”Jasmine,” I was so worried that this time, the reason for this call may be related to COVID-19 and as such, may be sincerely genuine, so I left everything I was doing and ran off to see her, while praying silently in my heart for my fears not to come through.

Watch out for the succeeding article, next week to find out what happened next and get insights and tips on how to keep a positive mental attitude during this global pandemic.

In the meantime, stay safe.

This too shall pass.

Kembet Bolton

 

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