Annotated radiographs of the hands of an adult (above) and a child (below)
From childhood, the bones of the hand undergo major development. Note the changes in position and size among the bones of the wrist as well as the joining of the phalanges to their proximal epipheses (seen below as dark, narrow bands adjacent to each bone in the fingers of the five-year-old).
See if you can spot something unusual in one of the radiographs…
Illustration from Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy, 7th Edition (1920)
Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).
But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.
Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).
That sort of thing.
Yeah, but what you mention in your third paragraph: to me that’s just talking through it but slowly.
But why or how are they able to talk through it slowly? It’s not that a complete absence of verbal thoughts is being suggested, but that the presence of mental images facilitates an ability to think through it slower and thus “intervene” before the ultimate feared outcome is reached. Because, for people with GAD, once it gets to that point, there’s a pervasive feeling of powerlessness because that outcome is often perceived or felt as being inevitable (even if individuals can “objectively” determine that’s not the case, there’s still that anxious feeling).
Again, just a hypothesis. I’m not even trying to defend it, just making sure we’re all on the same page about what Borkovec is proposing.