How Is an Anxiety Disorder Different from Stress?

February 19, 2016 Kristen Virag

It's common to hear people describe the way they're feeling in a stressful or nervous situation as anxious. We often find ourselves snowed under with the daily pressures of life, and that can make us feel a certain level of anxiety. What I do believe however, is that the word anxiety is regularly taken out of context. People need to understand the difference between suffering from the condition of anxiety and feeling stressed.

Suffering With An Anxiety Disorder Is Different From Stress

When you suffer with anxiety and panic attacks as a condition, not only can you experience physical changes in your body including heart racing, sweating, loss of appetite/increased appetite and more, but you become worried all the time, and can think irrationally (Anxiety Symptoms: Recognizing The Signs Of Anxiety). People who are stressed can often calm down quicker and can be reasoned with, but the anxious person may not be able to refocus that quickly. Anxiety can make you believe that you are a bad person, or that people feel differently towards you and can often make you feel alone.

Difference Between Anxiety And Stress and Feeling Better Video

In this video, I describe some of the ways feeling stressed is different to suffering with anxiety, and how you can feel better.

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APA Reference
Virag, K. (2016, February 19). How Is an Anxiety Disorder Different from Stress?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Kristen Virag

Dr Musli Ferati
March, 6 2016 at 8:50 pm

Stress and anxiety by latest one psychiatric diagnostic guidelines are quite different entities, but in daily psychiatric practice these two condition are intertwined and perplexed, as well. The situation becomes more intrigued when it is in question the patient with concomitant somatic and others psycho-social characteristics. However, the difference between these two mental disorders is clear, and each identification with each other indicates awful psychiatric mistake. Your original personal explanations are good and should take in account during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and intervention , as well. In addition, anxiety is introduces with many faces and subtypes, while stress i unique and specific psychiatric entity with pertain signs and symptoms, which ones have got exact preliminary trigger factor with ordinary course and outcome. The issue become more complicate, where stress is chronic and it evolve numerous features of any anxiety disorder. For these and many others vague clinical implications, it ought to respect individual biological and psycho-social context. it is important to be careful if stress and anxiety, as up to date mental problems go along with any latent somatic, psyhological and social difficulties. For more exact and professional differential diagnostic distinction, the comprehensive psychiatric work up is necessary.

February, 21 2016 at 6:53 pm

I don't suffer from much stress. But I do suffer from anxiety, GAD in particular. You go through that excessive worries, paranoia, and nervousness for hours or days. Medicine does help. But one must exercise the mind and body too. You are right in that stress and anxiety disorder are different.

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