Despite this, certain terms to denote certain disorders can still be confused.
That is the case for anxiety disorders. Anxiety, on one hand, is how we refer to the emotion of unease or worry that comes with the uncertainty of situations.
‘Anxiety disorder’ is a blanket term for psychiatric disorders that come with a persistent feeling of anxiety.
Ahead, we’ll discuss how to differentiate anxiety from anxiety disorders. This includes how to tell at what point it may be a disorder, the different kinds of disorders, and anxiety disorder symptoms to watch out for.
Differentiating Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety
Anxiety, as a feeling or emotion, is normal to have occasionally. After all, a healthy mind will worry about the bills, or the future, or relationships, or other important life events. What sets the feeling apart from the disorder is how rational or reasonable this discomfort becomes.
Here are some of the key differences of anxiety and anxiety disorders:
- Anxiety may involve, for instance, worrying about getting a response you’ve been waiting for. While anxiety disorders can involve constantly worrying about nothing to the point that it impacts daily interactions.
- Anxiety can also mean being embarrassed when you’re thrust into an awkward situation in front of strangers. Anxiety disorders can involve being so afraid of potential humiliation that you avoid getting into social situations, to begin with.
- Being nervous or even panicking about a big test or presentation is an example of anxiety. While having sudden panic attacks or being so preoccupied with worrying about the next presentation can mean you have an anxiety disorder.
When is it a disorder?
So then, at what point could anxiety be a sign of having an anxiety disorder?
Identifying anxiety disorder symptoms to watch out for involve:
- Monitoring the brevity of your emotions. When feeling anxious is irrational and overwhelming or even debilitating, this may be a good sign to approach a mental health expert.
- Noting how an anxiety disorder may cause persistent and uncontrollable dread of everyday or regular situations to the extent that it may be disabling you or interfering with your daily activities.
If you are on the fence about going to a mental health expert or support group, it may be helpful for you to approach a counselor or social worker or even a well-informed and trusted friend to be able to get some outside perspective on how you’re feeling.