Normal Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorder: Understanding the Difference

a woman feeling anxiousIt is normal to feel anxious about certain things in life from time to time. You might feel anxious about circumstantial events such as a test, divorce, or an upcoming interview/job promotion. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, involve more than just occasional fear or worry. For people with the said conditions, feelings of anxiety can linger and get worse.

Behavioral health centers in Sandusky note that people usually respond to stress with feelings of worry or anxiety. You may not realize it, but can sometimes be a good thing, as this will motivate to do something to make the situation better. It may cause you to study harder for an exam and accomplish your projects sooner than later. It can even warn you about a harmful or a dangerous situation.

Constant and Chronic Worrying

An anxiety disorder, however, involves constant and chronic worry that can disturb personal and social life. Struggling with this condition can make you feel anxious most of the time, even when accomplishing seemingly small tasks. If normal anxiety is short-lived, a disorder can last for weeks or months. It is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as sweating, dizziness, headaches, trembling, and others.

Real and Serious Illnesses

It’s important to know that anxiety disorders are not character flaws or signs of weaknesses. They’re real illnesses that can affect a person’s body, thought, and behavior. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive and mental disorders in the country.

Interference with Life

Anxiety disorders are not a choice or simply not the case of being shy. They can affect your entire life and interfere with your job, schoolwork, and daily activities. Avoidance is one common symptom of the disorder, which may cause you to miss an exam, skip class, stop going to work, and avoid anything that causes anxiety. Exaggerated worry about everything and trouble concentrating may also be present.

If you or someone you know is struggling with constant anxiety, it’s important to get help. Anxiety disorders are treatable and many who have received professional care experience see improvement in their quality of life.


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