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Old 11-02-2005, 01:45 PM   #1
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Why Do People Worry?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9880537/site/newsweek/

interesting about men vs women...also maybe men are conditioned to cover up their worrying tendencies because they're taught it's not "manly" or something. I have to agree in general that most women are more empathetic and "ruminate" more.

"Are you born a worrier or is worrying created by the way you are raised?


There are several factors. One is temperamental, in terms of being easily aroused, having a fear of novelty, inhibition. Those are built-in predispositions. The other thing is anxiety sensitivity. Some people are more sensitive to their anxious arousal. They think it is a sign of going out of control, that there’s something terribly wrong with them. This anxiety sensitivity seems to be a general trait that is actually more characteristic of people who have anxiety disorders and who worry.

In terms of child-rearing experiences, there is no one pattern that is characteristic of all worriers, but what we do see is that worriers when they were kids had been more involved in what’s called reverse parenting. In other words, their mother or father--[but] primarily the mother--would present the child with their problems. The child would try to take care of the mother or try to make peace between the mother and the father or do other things that a parent would do. The child who becomes a worrier is sort of taught that you’ve got to take care of other people’s feelings, other people’s needs. The consequence of that is that there’s nobody taking care of you and you’re always thinking about how other people feel. So reverse parenting is one factor. Another is that parents of worriers are overprotective. They are always presenting the child with dangers and trying to confine the child’s freedom. The message is that the world is dangerous, you have to always anticipate the worst ... Kids growing up with these overprotective parents don’t learn that they can take care of themselves. The other thing is that parents of worriers who are overprotective are not warm. So the child is taught that the world is dangerous, but don’t come to [them] for help. Of course, worriers have worried mothers so they probably imitate that style, too. "
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:20 PM   #2
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A lot of that rings true to me, Mrs. S. I had to do some of that reverse parenting. Growing up too quickly can make you feel you are responsible for things you are not or can make you cold. I've fluctuated between both. Interesting thread.
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:37 PM   #3
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I'm definitely a worrier. My mother told me once that she thought she may have been overprotective of me because my older brother died in infancy, and she got pregnant with me not long afterward.
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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Worrying is a cultural construct, fuelled by American culture. We've accomplished a lot by scaring the pants off of people for absolutely no reason.

That has more to do with it than a men vs. women argument, in my opinion.

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Old 11-02-2005, 07:49 PM   #5
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I'm a terrible worrier, I have anxiety neurosis, that doesn't help anything.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:35 PM   #6
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:40 PM   #7
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Im a MAJOR worrier have always been that way. Can take the smallest thing and worry about it for hours. Developed my tendency to worry from my mom.
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:56 PM   #8
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Re: Why Do People Worry?

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
The other thing is that parents of worriers who are overprotective are not warm.
Strange how they matter-of-factly bundled these two things together. Why would overprotectiveness and a lack of warmth be related?

I don't agree with the view that worry is all culturally constructed. Culture may well instill an aversion to (e.g.) ambiguity or diversity or what have you, but one need only spend a few days in the company of a textbook neurotic worrier (and I've encountered them on several continents) to see that something more than cultural bias drives this behavior.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Why Do People Worry?

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Originally posted by yolland

Stran
I don't agree with the view that worry is all culturally constructed. Culture may well instill an aversion to (e.g.) ambiguity or diversity or what have you, but one need only spend a few days in the company of a textbook neurotic worrier (and I've encountered them on several continents) to see that something more than cultural bias drives this behavior.
I agree with you.

I wonder how much of this is genetic (chemistry) based as well.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:20 PM   #10
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What evolutionary advantages are there to worrying?
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
What evolutionary advantages are there to worrying?
"Worrying" is probably related to "anxiety," which is probably related to being on guard for attack. Those who did not worry were likely caught off guard and killed.

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Old 11-02-2005, 10:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
What evolutionary advantages are there to worrying?
What evolutionary advantages are there to hormonal imbalances? Chemical imbalances resulting in insomnia? Chemical imbalances resulting in chronic depression?

Traits can survive regardless of fitness.
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Traits can survive regardless of fitness.
"Fitness" is really, to me, only narrowly defined by "not killing you before you've had children." Huntington's Disease is, as such, "fit." And how about all those other traits that would normally kill you, but pass along through others as "carriers"? I think some people are a little too optimistic when it comes to defining what is "fit" in evolutionary theory.

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Old 11-02-2005, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


"Fitness" is really, to me, only narrowly defined by "not killing you before you've had children."
That's sort of inaccurate because it doesn't account for relative fitness - ie. how many offspring you can produce in a lifetime. If you are killed before you have fulfilled your full potential, your fitness is thereby decreased regardless of the fact you may have had one child prior to dying.

I think it's a faulty term because it defines biological success in very limited terms.
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I had to do some of that reverse parenting. Growing up too quickly can make you feel you are responsible for things you are not or can make you cold. I've fluctuated between both
so did I, I agree..it puts too much responsibility on one's shoulders and isn't exactly good for one's self esteem. I have often wondered if worrying is genetic- my Mother is a chronic worrier, and I always questioned what part of mine was genetic and what part was nurture.

I'm so sorry about your brother Bono's shades
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