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Generalized Anxiety Disorder: I Skip Words When Reading

Today, I will share with you my experience of dealing with anxiety. Clinically, I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD. This has not been diagnosed by a Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. but by a Psychiatrist based in Kolkata.

I am at the core of my being a very attentive and observant person. I am sensitive to my surrounding and once had excessive empathy. So, when people introduce themselves as “Empath” I retract. So, when I started losing focus and attention, I found it alarming.

Losing focus and attention is an everyday problem for young people and children. Sometimes, people lose focus and attention because of obvious work-related stress. My situation was specifically alarming because I have been skipping words when reading. It impacted my comprehension.

Every time I would try to read something, I would skip a word, misread the word, or add some word not a part of the sentence. I found this trait bizarre that existed for almost 2 weeks before I decided to talk about this to a Psychiatrist along with my relapse of OCD that was detected in 2018.

When I visited my psychiatrist in April 2023 and with my list of issues that I was experiencing including this particular type of reading problem, I was informed of Anxiety Disorder and prescribed Clonazepam and Praxidep. I discontinued Clonazepam after it made me extremely sleepy although bettered it all.

Clonazepam and Praxidep together for a stretch of 10 days fixed my reading disorder but Clonazepam made me sleepy the whole day and interfered with my work life. During my follow-up on mentioning the same, the doctor advised me to discontinue it by tapering it over the next 10 days.

But here’s the thing, that issue with reading? It keeps coming back when my stress shoots up triggered by a family condition, my most pressing environmental concern. Medicines can only help you so much. Your environment needs a fix to alleviate stressors causing you attention-deficit/hyperactivity/loss of focus.

So, I hear you if you are searching on Google, “When I read why do I skip words?,” “Why do I skip words when reading?” “Does anyone tend to skip over words when reading?, etc. To conclude, you are most likely experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. This worry could be multifocal such as finance, family, health, and the future. It is excessive, difficult to control, and is often accompanied by many non-specific psychological and physical symptoms. National Library of Medicine

So you might have Generalized Anxiety Disorder if you are anxious about things or a thing beyond measure. But don’t self-diagnose without consulting with a Psychiatrist with a minimum of 15-20 years of experience from a reputed hospital. Trust yourself to a good doctor and surrender.

Linda Ashok

Linda Ashok is an India English Poet & Polymath. She is a mental health advocate studying Psychology from IGNOU'25.