The Worry Group

Worry is an emotion that comes in many forms, one of which is anxiety. Anxiety is a fearful response to a given situation and stress is a negative emotion often caused by our worries.

The Worry Group consists of worrying people who bring anxiety to the table, typically as a result of their worries, but also as a reaction to negative feedback, criticism, their own insecurities, and a myriad of other situations.

We often associate the Worry Group with anxiety — feeling like your chest tightens and you start sweating, which causes discomfort and the urge to return to bed. This reaction is classic Worry Group anxiety. Not only do you suffer from Anxiety, you’re also anxious, afraid of being rejected and violated.

But how is anxiety related to Worry?

Historically, people have used the word anxiety to denote someone with a worry-like reaction to their environment. In modern literature, the DSM categorizes Anxiety as a type of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is very rare for people to report only anxiety-related Worry.

The DSM at first classified Anxiety with a Uatal Developmental Dysfunction as a separate diagnosis from Worry, but later changed it to only be an addendum to Worry. No one knows the original why, but many suggest that the DSM changed it to classify people with Anxiety as part of Worry because people with Anxiety don’t report a substantial number of Worry-like feelings, as Worry generally tends to be one-sided. The DSM also did not classify Worry as part of Anxiety, and eventually it classified it as part of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This classification created a tension between these two disorders, causing anxiety-related Worry to be included in the next upgrade to the DSM, which took place in 2013.

This doesn’t mean Anxiety is a separate disease, and neither does it mean that Worry is better than Anxiety. Instead, Worry and Anxiety are similar symptoms in that both are often confusing: both are unhealthy and unhelpful ways to respond to stressful life situations. Most of all, both are a consequence of your anxiety, which is unfortunate, because now you have two different mental health diagnoses to contend with.

Melissa Bay is a researcher for the ADHD Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Related Articles