Anxiety & Stress Facts

Haven’t you sometimes wondered how stress and anxiety are different, or are they the same thing? The way your body reacts to change in your environment is stress, whether it is positive or negative. Your body reacting to change such as falling in love, starting a new job or suffering an unexpected loss with physical, mental and emotional responses is anxiety. An emotion characterized by a feeling of apprehension, nervousness or fear is classed as anxiety.

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Stress is not caused by the same events for all people. Stress for one might really be helpful for another. If you are easily annoyed and often irritable, these can be emotional warning signs of too much stress. There may be other signs that indicate a need to work on how you handle stress. Losing weight might be a sign of stress as well as a change in eating patterns or overeating leading to weight gain.

If chronic stress is long-term, this can contribute to depression.

Perhaps this was originally caused by a traumatic event or just miserable living conditions. Lasting for a long time with a form of intense depression can prevent someone from living a normal life and contribute to physical illness, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

You may need to cope with stress by setting realistic goals at home or work, even if it means you have to lower your expectations a little. Look at change as a challenge instead of a threat, eat and drink sensibly, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly.

Anxiety Is Always A Harmful Emotion

You will find that anxiety is always a negative and harmful emotion, which makes us nervous or fearful and usually not enjoyable. It is a normal and potentially helpful emotion and can make you more alert and focused on facing challenging or threatening circumstances. Anxiety attacks can be extreme fear and worry that doesn’t go away for some people.Anxiety & Stress Facts Image

Panic disorders cause sudden, uncontrollable feelings of terror and social anxiety disorder involves the fear of being in unfamiliar social situations with expectations of scrutiny by others.

Both types can manifest with physical symptoms such as shaking or breaking out in a sweat.

There are about 40 million American adults who are affected by anxiety disorders each year, which equates to about 18% of the 18 and above adult population. Women are actually twice as likely as men in having generalized anxiety disorders. This is characterized by at least 6 months of excessive, unrealistic worry over everyday problems. Perhaps it would be more prevalent in those women who are the primary wage earners, single mothers or those who juggle a career, housekeeping and a family, with little or no help from a partner.

Anxiety disorder can be treated with medication herbal remedies, homeopathy, psychotherapy or a combination of all. Certain antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and sometimes beta-blockers are prescribed to control physical symptoms. Monitor these signs and if frequent, consult with your primary health provider for counseling or medication.

– Dr Fredda Branyon