The word “overgeneralization” is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “to generalize to the point of inaccuracy, to extrapolate a general theory, rule, et cetera, from too few facts or particulars.”
It is commonly seen among people with anxiety disorders. They will take one small instance and generalize that the worst is going to happen.
And somewhere between the stress, losing friends to suicide, the pressure of school, work and extracurriculars, overgeneralization became one of my strongest skills.
For a while I found myself assuming that the worst would happen in any situation. That when anyone in my life was having a bad day, they would automatically resort to taking their own life. Or that when I said something as a joke towards someone, they would take it seriously and get offended and be mad at me.
I started tiptoeing around everyone I knew for fear of pushing them over the edge or making them mad at me. The thought of being upset at
After months of doing this, I lost the ability to convince myself that the only person I was actually hurting and making upset was myself. I was a ball of anxiety mentally, prepared for the world’s worst thing to happen at any point in time.
A lot of these “Let’s Talk About Mental Health Columns” talk about a transformation from feeling a certain way to being better and overcoming that. And as much as I would like to say that’s the case here, it’s not.
There’s a long journey to getting yourself to a point where you stop thinking the way you did for so long. While my thought process has become happier and less stressed one over time, like muscle memory, sometimes worrying is the only thing I resort back to.
I find myself wanting to talk out other people’s worries instead of focus on my own, but over time the advice I give seems to have an effect on me too.
I wake up every day to a quote from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” written in marker on my mirror that says, “It’s going to be a good