We all overthink things from time to time, be it a difficult work email, a heated family discussion or even a passing glance from a stranger. While these fleeting worries are completely normal, issues can arise when overthinking starts to have a severe impact on our day-to-day lives, causing constant distress and leading to more severe problems down the line.
The question is, does overthinking ever technically become a ‘disorder’, and if so, what is this overthinking disorder called? In this blog, we’ll be looking at whether overthinking disorder exists, what might be causing you to develop this habit and how to start looking into treatment options.
Does overthinking disorder exist?
In short, no. There is no such thing as overthinking disorder. However, there is of course such a thing as generalised anxiety disorder, a symptom of which can be overthinking. So, if you’re at all concerned about how much you might be overthinking, and have perhaps noticed other anxiety-related symptoms in the past, there is a strong chance your overthinking is a result of a more complex psychological condition.
Psychological problems such as anxiety disorders come in different forms, but in many cases involve some degree of worry and self-reflection. For example, people with body dysmorphia are likely prone to overthinking about the way they look, and those with social anxiety disorder may be constantly worrying about how they are perceived by others. In some cases, depression has also been linked to overthinking.
While overthinking disorder doesn’t technically exist, that’s not to say you shouldn’t be taking steps to find help and potential treatment. As overthinking is most likely related to other conditions, it’s important that you seek help if you or a loved one notices your tendencies having a significant impact on your mental health.
Am I overthinking?
Not sure about whether or not you’re overthinking? Of course, it’s completely natural to have occasional worries, concerns and even severe panic from time to time, but consistent and excessive thoughts leading to fear and dread can have a serious impact on your mental health. If you’re overthinking excessively, you may recognise some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty contributing to conversations
- Constantly thinking up worst-case scenarios
- Comparing yourself to others
- Reliving traumatic experiences, failures or mistakes
- Racing thoughts
It can be difficult at first to recognise these habits as symptoms, especially if you’ve been concerned about ‘overthinking disorder’ for some time. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can establish why these feelings are having a harmful impact on your wellbeing.
Why am I overthinking and how can I stop?
As we have previously mentioned, there are a number of mental health issues and anxiety disorders that can affect a person’s tendencies to overthink. These could include:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Overthinking can also be a symptom of other conditions, and even illnesses, so be sure to contact an expert if you are concerned.
To start taking steps towards managing your overthinking tendencies, you must first seek advice and look into the potential triggers. From there, you can work with an expert to start looking into treatment options. A common treatment used for anxiety disorders is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), which works by challenging negative thinking patterns. Of course, you can also try other techniques depending on what your therapist recommends. If you’re particularly concerned about overthinking as one of your symptoms, take a look at our blog about strategies to stop overthinking.
Overthinking & anxiety disorder treatments at The Awareness Centre
If overthinking is harming a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing, it’s time to start looking into the potential causes and triggers. With private therapy services, people struggling with managing their overthinking tendencies can begin to understand what might be causing these habits and how to take steps towards recovery.
Everyone will experience symptoms of anxiety disorders in different ways and to varying degrees, however it’s important to remember that there is always help available. Whether you’re unsure about symptoms, feel the need for immediate treatment or just want to find out more about the condition, our experts at The Awareness Centre will be happy to assist you.