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Worrying about harming others

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i read the list of symptoms of anxiety on this website.
and one of them which got to me was,
'fear of harming somebody you love unconditionally or yourself'
now, i know i would never and could never harm anybody else of myself.
yet i still find myself worrying that i will, and i don't know why.
it's really frustrating because it's constantly on my mind, especially about my mum.
but i'm always worried about when my mum is going to die.
i never want to lose her. she's the only one i love, and i'd die for her.
so why do i feel this way and how can i make it go away?

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replied December 24th, 2009
Anxiety and Stress Answer A8698

The thought that you'd harm your mother should not be called a fear, but you could call it "unhealthy anxiety". And it is not uncommon to have such thoughts. Anxiety is healthy up to a certain limit, but when it starts to bother you, affect you life, it may be called unhealthy.

You can make these thoughts go away, but you will need some hard work. One of the ways to do it is replace the thoughts with other pleasant ones. You can choose some good pleasant thoughts to think about you and you mother, and whenever you get the "unhealthy anxiety", you should immediately stop yourself and think the new ones. This is a small exercise which can give you good results if done regularly and with faith.

If you find the anxiety to be very disturbing, you could also talk to a therapist.


This post is for the purpose of providing medical information and is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a doctor. This post is not intended to give or rule out a diagnosis, create a doctor-patient relationship or replace an existing one.

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