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Difference Between Anxiety and An Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a very normal, very common thing. It is how the body reacts to stress. Anxiety can help people cope with difficulties that arise in their lives such as with work or school.

Anxiety Disorder

Everyone feels anxious now and then. It’s a normal emotion. For example, you may feel nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.

Anxiety disorders are different, though. They are a group of mental illnesses, and the distress they cause can keep you from carrying on with your life normally.

With anxiety disorder, a person panics about situations and is overwhelmed with feelings of overwhelming stress that they are not able to effectively deal with.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many symptoms that can be associated with anxiety disorder. Some of the most common symptoms related to anxiety disorder include fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea, stomach pains, shortness of breath, and headaches.

With anxiety, the body goes into a preparation mode to deal with the problem. You will find that your heart rate and blood pressure increase. You may start sweating more. Blood flow will be increased to the major muscles in your body.

Your immune and digestive systems will stop functioning properly. Some of the outward signs of anxiety can include skin that is pale, sweating, trembling, pupils that are dilated.

If someone is suffering from the effects of anxiety, they may have an overwhelming sense of panic of dread.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a symptom that is seen quite frequently in those that suffer from anxiety. Panic attacks come on suddenly and there is often no warning. The fear that is associated with a panic attack is most often irrational.

That being said, it is also true that the fear and perceived danger that the person suffering the attack has is very real. A person that is suffering a panic attack often feels like they are going to pass out or die.

Oftentimes, panic attacks are mistaken for heart attacks.

Emotional and Physical Symptoms

There are many emotional symptoms that go hand in hand with the physical symptoms of anxiety. Sufferers may experience feelings of dread or apprehension. They may have difficulty concentrating.

They may be very tense and jumpy. They may be irritable, anticipate the worst, be restless, constantly watch and wait for signs of danger, and may often feel like their mind is empty and blank.

Many people that are suffering the effects of anxiety will have nightmares, obsess about sensations that they feel, feel like they are trapped in their mind, and fear everything.

Fear

Fear is the most common symptom with anxiety. This includes an overwhelming fear of death or dying. Those who suffer from anxiety may fear that the chest pains that they are experiencing, which are a physical symptom associated with anxiety, are a fatal heart attack.

They also think that the severe headaches they have are caused by a brain tumor or aneurysm. Some sufferers are tremendously afraid of death and have overwhelming fear when they think about it. Others think of death as a normal thing.

There are some sufferers that simply cannot get death out of their minds and they are obsessed with the thoughts of death.

Conclusion

For people who have one, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling. But with treatment, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life.

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