Are you intolerant of uncertainty?

How do you react when things are uncertain? Do you keep asking yourself “what if” and come up with negative predictions of future events?

When faced with a problematic situation with the element of uncertainty if your reaction is to make catastrophic predictions of uncertain future events/threats and try to overcome it with the perfect solution that you are yet to find, you might have intolerance to uncertainty.

Dugas who coined the term “intolerance of uncertainty” describes it metaphorically like an allergy. Some people can be more “allergic” to uncertain situations and tend to react with more anxiety and worry.  It usually involves trying to reduce the uncertainty compulsively, by over preparing, excessive information research, or reassurance seeking. People with intolerance to uncertainty prefer concrete evidence, certainty and look for the perfect solution that have to work without fail. However when it is impossible to escape uncertainty, refusing to accept it and continuously trying to overcome generates only more worry and anxiety.


Dugas, M.J. & Robichaud, M. (2006). Cognitive Behavioural Treatment for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. New York:Routledge.


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