Are you a catastrophiser?

I would never have described myself as such until someone at work did, and it was a total lightbulb moment. now it means I can explain to others why I’m so hyper neurotic when it comes to planning things (…like Russian visas) and doing things I’ve never done before. My dad and my nan are/were the world’s biggest worriers so it’s almost certainly a nurture thing.

Are you a catastrophiser? (Public)

  • Chronic catastrophiser, constantly working overtime to make contingency plans and getting in a panic about things going wrong
  • Sometimes, when it’s reasonable to fret about something going wrong and make a back-up plan
  • Every so often I’ll catastrophise about something but generally I’m chill
  • I am cool as a cucumber, life’s too short to worry maaaan

0 voters

I am not, but I live with one.

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think i’m actually the opposite of this. always assume everything will just work out, so hardly ever stress details


Big time. I don’t think I’m very sane actually, the other week I spent an hour in my dressing gown prodding the ceiling because I was obsessed that it was collapsing. This year I’ve already had an ebb and flow worry about dying of two different types of cancer and I’ve been obsessively checking google to see if my uncle (who I don’t really know) in canada has died since the middle of last year

Yeah me too. Probably why I’ve never really got anything done.

I’m the opposite too, but that’s bad in its own way. Overly chill and relaxed about things until right before the deadline when I suddenly get major stress having to deal with everything that I let pile up. so while I really don’t worry about big stuff, the smaller things end up catching me out because I don’t plan well enough for them.

Maybe it’s just a side effect of being a super procrastinator but even so


I’m a worrier though, more about what people think of me secretly than things going wrong.

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Yes, but not the sort who makes any kind of plans to mitigate the catastrophe. I just do the worrying bit.

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Would consider myself more defeatist, no point in getting hand wringy over it.

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Follow up question for catastrophisers: how often has catastrophising benefited you?

I can think of a couple of significant times, the most recent was when I was convinced that one of the rooms for my event last year had been double booked and I was correct. The lad running the karate class was an absolute dickhead and was very aggressive towards me, once I’d got over the initial FUCK!!! moment I was very quickly able to start sorting it out. If I hadn’t been prepared for it I’d have gone into absolute meltdown mode.

Honestly don’t know if it’s a bigger help or hindrance. It helps me be prepared but it also means I’m constantly worrying and using up loads of energy on panicking and going into a spiral when I think things are going wrong (often without checking vital details that show that things are fine)

e.g. paid over £100 to travel to both Birmingham and London last summer because I didn’t commit to going until the night before - even though both things were plans I’d made or at least been away of for months. That was more financial than anything but was still up til the AMs fretting about what to do and why had I left it like this, how could I etc etc

Definitely got “travel anxiety” from my stepdad and mum, so as a result I’m good at getting to airports on time and stuff. Always worry about my car breaking down on long journeys with the kids (although less so now they are grown)

In other life I’m a confusing mix of “don’t worry about things I can’t control” and “staring at the wall while I fret about losing my job and home and being alone forever”

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Oh if I can do benefits of being too chill? Never booked trains or accomodation for the Jabberwocky festival in London back in … 2014? Only gig tickets - so when it was cancelled the day before, I got my money back in about 2 hours without having to think about £100s spent on other things which I wouldn’t be able to refund.

Of course the one or two incidents like this justify me keeping that attitude despite all the times it’s done me harm, but that’s just logical right …

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Yes, but the worry is more often paralyzing than in any way motivating

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Not really, I try to live by the mantra that if you can’t control something don’t stress about it. My dad is an absolute massive catrastrophiser though - and it’s getting worse with age. The slightest bit of traffic up ahead and he’ll be ‘right folks I think we’re going to be stuck here for three or four hours’.

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I don’t think that’s what being a catastrophiser is.

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Yes and its going to kill me!!


But I guess contingency plans for things that are very unlikely to happen? So it’s a risk vs reward thing about how much effort to put into plans to deal with something that will not happen*

*but may end up happening somehow anyway

I’d characterise it as pervo does here:


Yeah it’s a definable mental health trait/issue:

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