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Light On Anxiety Expert Perspectives: LOA in the News

“I Just Don’t Want To Get It” Syndrome

By Debra Kissen

Since the pandemic started, nearly 1 in 6 people have been infected with Covid. With the help of vaccines and mitigation measures, we are in a far better position than we were in spring of 2020. 

However, to some, the sentiment around getting infected with Covid still remains the same. That is, there is a sense of scrupulosity if you test positive. Regardless of how careful you have been, how many sacrifices you have made over the last 2 years, it is still possible to catch an infectious disease. 

There are some people struggling with Covid anxiety around just not wanting to “get it”. To this conscientious bunch, getting Covid somehow is a sign that they were not careful enough and it is a sign of being lazy or bad in some way or another. Another aspect of this (non-official syndrome) is the judgment of others when they get Covid and trying to assess what they did wrong. Insofar as trying to figure out what protocols they did not follow that caused them to contract it. They want to believe that we humans have a lot more control over our lives and destiny than we actually do. At the end of the day, we need to remind ourselves that 99.99% of people who get Covid are not intending to get it and do not want to have to go through being sick, let alone worse outcomes. 

There is some distress relief in the belief that “if only I do all the right things I can prevent negative outcomes from occurring”. Of course, the reality is there are some things that we can control but there’s a whole lot more randomness to how our lives will unfold. Freedom from Covid as well as all other anxiety entails learning to dance with and somehow rejoice in the uncertainty of it all. Within the unknowns are the mysteries and wonders that also make life worth living.

Dr. Debra Kissen is CEO of Light On Anxiety CBT Treatment Center. Dr. Kissen specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)...

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