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Handling Intolerance of Uncertainty

Today more than ever, people display an intolerance of uncertainty to political, religious, societal, climatical, and secular views, beliefs, and behaviors. Many in the American Psychological Association believe mass shooters and people who commit suicide suffer from an inability to tolerate not knowing, or accepting the uncertainties tomorrow might bring. Even when viewpoints and philosophies are explained, these worriers continue to suffer. Adverse emotions, negative behaviors, chronic agonizing over the past, vacillating in the present, and distressing over the future are symptoms associated with Intolerance of uncertainty, a generalized anxiety disorder. Often exhibited through adverse emotions, this dispositional fear and inability to accept secular events as truth, is directly related to mental wellbeing. The counselors, therapists, and clinicians of Improving Lives Counseling Services diagnose and treat mental and behavior disorders associated with intolerance of uncertainty.

Living through a pandemic which seems never-ending offers mental and physical challenges. Meeting these challenges as rules, regulations, and the science constantly changes has created doubt and uncertainty in many of us. Yet, when someone finds it easier to typecast than to accept, to reject both truths and falsehoods, and allow perceived differences to cultivate hatred, they are displaying an intolerance of uncertainty. Other indicators include seeking yet ignoring reassurance from others, prolonged worry about family and friends, constantly questioning themselves, an inability to shut down at the end of the day, stress, anxiety, and a chronic inability to avoid uncertainty.

“If you can’t stand uncertainty and do everything you can to get rid of it, you might have noticed a problem: it is impossible to get rid of all uncertainty in your life.”

Intolerance of uncertainty is defined as: “a dispositional characteristic that results from a set of negative beliefs about uncertainty and its implications and involves the tendency to react negatively on an emotional, cognitive, and behavioral level to uncertain situations and events” (Buhr & Dugas, 2009).

Intolerance of uncertainty remains a common factor in the treatment of emotional, depressive, and behavioral disorders. Because emotional and anxiety disorders can be heterogeneous, and vary decidedly from client to client, Improving Lives Counseling Services’ team of licensed professionals meet each client’s specific needs through timely diagnosis, specialized forms of psychotherapy, and individualized treatment plans.

As the country rotates in and out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccination controversy, political divisiveness, mask-wearing, distance and hybrid learning, and now mass shootings, more people than ever are experiencing and/or displaying mental health disorders. Many don’t know what to believe, while others refuse to believe. Rejecting people who are seen as different, subjecting to gaslighting, and allowing uncertainty to rise due to ignorance rejects badly on a person. When intolerance and uncertainty become all consuming, annihilating mental health and wellbeing, let us help restore it.

Improving Lives Counseling Services treats children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors in individual, couples, family, and group, virtual, and social distancing in-person sessions. Live the life you were meant to live. Call Us.