Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder: Know the Difference


Everyone must have felt anxious. For example, if you are in a state of not being able to go home because it is night, there is no public transportation that is still operating, and it is raining heavily. You may feel anxious about meeting a bad person or having to wait until morning before you can get home. However, is feeling anxious a sign that you have an anxiety disorder? Well, this article will discuss the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders. Listen, come on!

What are anxiety and anxiety disorders?

You may think that feeling anxious is a sign that you have an anxiety disorder. In fact, although interrelated, the two conditions are not the same. 

Anxiety is temporary, in response to a condition that causes stress. This condition is still quite natural because you do not experience it continuously. 

This means, at a point where you no longer feel stressed, the anxiety is gone. Usually, after getting through a stressful situation or successfully dealing with it, the anxiety goes away on its own. 

Actually, feeling anxious occasionally is not a bad thing. In fact, anxiety can trigger you to take action to get rid of the unpleasant situation. 

For example, if you are stressed about taking an exam, you will prepare yourself to do well on the exam. In addition, you also become more alert if you are in danger. 

However, anxiety is different from anxiety disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you have one of these mental disorders, you will feel anxious most of the time. In addition, the feelings of anxiety that arise are also very intense. 

In fact, instead of trying to deal with certain situations, people with anxiety disorders prefer to completely avoid the things that can cause them to feel anxious. 

As a result, their daily activities will be disrupted because they cannot deal with many things. This condition often cannot be faced alone. Therefore, people who experience anxiety disorders usually have to get certain medical treatment. 

Difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder

The following are some of the differentiators between anxiety and anxiety disorders that you need to know, namely:

1. Trigger

Certain conditions can indeed cause anxiety. For example, a semester exam, a job interview, a fight with a friend, or a close work deadline can all make you anxious. 

However, this is a natural feeling of anxiety. This means that most other people who experience the same condition may also feel the same way. 

Meanwhile, triggers for anxiety in people with anxiety disorders are usually simple things that happen every day. That is, most people do not feel anxious when faced with the situation. 

For example, going to the store to buy goods, or meeting friends at the shopping center. In fact, often people who experience this condition do not understand what triggers that cause anxiety disorders to recur. 

2. Intensity and frequency 

Generally, people feel anxious just before taking an exam. However, people with anxiety disorders may feel anxious weeks before the test day. 

In fact, right before taking the exam, various symptoms of intense anxiety disorder appear that have the potential to make him unable to take the exam. If this is the case, the anxiety he experiences can last for weeks or months. 

Therefore, it can be said that the anxiety that arises when you have an anxiety disorder has a high frequency and intensity. To overcome this, you certainly need to check the condition to a psychologist or doctor. 

3. Physical and psychological symptoms

When you feel anxious, you may just panic and can only focus on the triggers of anxiety. However, this is different when you have an anxiety disorder.

In addition to anxiety, you will also experience various other symptoms, such as panic attacks, sweating, shaking, heart beating fast, headaches, nausea, unable to breathe, to not being able to speak at all. 

Not only that, there are also psychological symptoms that may appear, such as not being able to concentrate, and not thinking well. 

4. Interference with daily activities 

You can also notice the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders from daily activities. If you feel anxious, you can still go about your normal activities. Especially if you've managed to get past the trigger for anxiety. 

However, this is not necessarily the case with people with anxiety disorders. Given that anxiety occurs quite often and intensely, people who experience this condition often choose to avoid stressors. 

The problem is, people with this disorder can feel anxious from simple things, such as working and going to the office, or going shopping to the supermarket.