August 4, 2021

When Does Worry Become a Problem?

By Marie Miguel


We all worry from time to time, but when does it become indicative of something more? If you’re concerned that worry is impacting your life, it could be an anxiety disorder. Excessive worry is one of the main characteristics of generalized anxiety disorder, and it can be indicative of other concerns as well. The good news is that, even though it’s not an easy symptom to live with, anxiety disorders are treatable, and if you have one, it is very possible for symptoms to improve with treatment.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Anxiety disorders impact about 18.1% of the adult population in the United States alone on an annual basis, with generalized anxiety disorder being one of the most common mental health conditions. Here are some common symptoms of anxiety seen in those with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD):

  • Excessive worry regarding various topics not better explained by another condition
  • Feeling “keyed up” or on-edge
  • Rumination
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension

Some people also encounter G.I. distress, body aches, trembling or shaking, and sweating. To be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, symptoms must persist on most days for six months or more. Note that generalized anxiety disorder is only one potential anxiety disorder that someone can be diagnosed with. Other common anxiety disorders or types of anxiety include social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, agoraphobia, and panic disorder. To receive the proper diagnosis, make sure that you visit a medical professional who is qualified to diagnose mental disorders, such as a general doctor or a psychiatrist.

When Does Worry Become a Problem?

If you find yourself worrying on a daily or near-daily basis, or if your worry is getting in the way of your quality of life or functioning, it is important to seek help. Excessive worry can impact your body and mind in a number of different ways, causing both physical and mental health-related symptoms such as those listed above. As far as when worry becomes a problem goes, the bottom line is that if it’s negatively affecting you, your life, or your ability to function and engage in daily tasks, then it is something to address.

Thankfully, anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and therapy is the leading treatment for anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, for example, is one common form of therapy used to treat anxiety disorders. It is a non-invasive form of treatment that has been well researched for a number of different concerns, and it can also help those coping with stress. You don’t have to have a mental health condition to seek therapy. Anything that’s getting in the way of your life is worth acknowledging, and if worry is disrupting your life, it doesn’t have to stay that way, nor do you have to go through it alone any longer. A counselor or therapist can help.

Find a Therapist

Therapy is a non-judgemental space to talk about anything that’s on your mind, including worry. There are a number of different ways to find a therapist. You can ask your doctor for a referral, search the web, contact your insurance company to see who they cover, or sign up for a reputable online therapy platform with licensed providers like BetterHelp. Online therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy is in the absence of insurance, and there’s a wide range of providers who specialize in various concerns on the BetterHelp platform, including anxiety. Regardless of how you find a therapist or counselor, you deserve to get the support you need, so don’t hesitate to take the first step toward finding a provider to work with today.

Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.


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