Change of any significance has always been hard for me. Every year growing up I dreaded the first day of school, far beyond what felt like the "normal" mourning that summer was over. Going away to college was physically wrenching—I spent the first week unable to eat, convinced that I would never be as content as the hordes of new best friends I was surrounded by. While everyone around me sailed through the first few days, I cried myself to sleep and constantly warred with the nervous feeling in my stomach.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, they called it. GAD. Which, somehow, seems fitting. GAD, which reportedly affects about 3 percent of the U.S. population, is characterized by frequent, constant worry with little or no cause. A GAD sufferer will generally bear a daily burden of anxiety not tied to any specific threat. Through no choice of our own, we live in a state of anxiety that is largely disconnected from the reality of our otherwise normal circumstances. While my daily anxiety ...1