Excessive worry might not be such a bad thing after all — a new small study suggests that such anxiety may have evolved in people along with intelligence.
The results show, among people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, high IQ scores were associated with high levels of worry.
In addition, those with anxiety disorder tended to have higher IQ scores than healthy people, as well as higher levels of activity in regions of the brain that aid in communication between parts of the brain. These regions are thought to have contributed to the evolutionary success of humans, the researchers say.
Although we tend to view anxiety as not being good for us, it is linked with intelligence — a highly adaptive trait, said Dr. Jeremy Coplan, study researcher and professor of psychiatry at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center.