When anxiety takes control


Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects a significant portion of the population. Individuals with anxiety disorders may experience excessive worry, fear, and nervousness, which can interfere with their daily activities and personal relationships. One common symptom of anxiety is a need for control over outcomes, which can be rooted in a fear of uncertainty and unpredictability.

From a psychological perspective, the need for control over outcomes can be seen as an attempt to manage anxiety by exerting control over one's environment. For individuals with anxiety disorders, the unpredictability of life can be overwhelming, leading to a desire for certainty and control. This need for control can manifest in several ways, such as over-planning, micromanaging, or being excessively cautious.

While a certain level of control over one's life can be beneficial, an excessive need for control can have negative impacts on relationships. The need for control can lead to interpersonal conflicts, particularly in romantic relationships, where partners may feel micromanaged or suffocated by the individual's need for control. This can create a sense of imbalance in the relationship, with one partner feeling like they have no say in decision-making.

This can also impact friendships and social interactions, where the individual may struggle to let go of control in group settings. This can lead to social isolation as others may perceive them as bossy or domineering.

The need for control can also manifest in work settings, where the individual may become a perfectionist and struggle to delegate tasks to others, which over a period of time can lead to burnout and increased stress. Unfortunately, these feelings can exacerbate existing symptoms of anxiety.

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and dread about uncertainty or feeling like what you do isn’t good enough unless it is perfect, it may be time to have a closer look at what is driving these issues, and your therapist can help you uncover underlying or unaddressed anxiety that may be contributing to how you feel.