To better understand anxiety let's look at what it is and what it is not
It is important to distinguish fear from anxiety. If you're scared, your fear is mostly directed toward an external object or situation. Examples might include failing an exam, not paying your bills, or being rejected for a date.
On the other hand, if you experience anxiety, you often can't specify what you're anxious about. Anxiety is more internal than external.
Free-Floating Anxiety - anxiety that is not connected with any particular situation, that "comes out of the blue";
Situational Anxiety - anxiety that arises only in response to a specific situation; also called phobic anxiety; differs from everyday fear in that it tends to be out of proportion or unrealistic; situational anxiety becomes phobic when you actually start to avoid the situation.
Anticipatory Anxiety - when you feel distressed about what might happen when or if you have to face one of your phobic situations; in its milder forms it can be categorized as worry; if it becomes too intense it can be called anticipatory panic;
Spontaneous anxiety tends to come out of the blue, peaks to a high level rapidly then subsides gradually. The peak is usually reached within five minutes, followed by a gradual tapering-off period of an hour or more.
Anticipatory anxiety builds up more gradually as a response - or simply thinking about - a threatening situation and then usually falls off quickly. One may worry themselves into a worry or panic, and then let go of the worry as the event has passed or dissipated.
Anxiety is normal and a part of everyday life in society. There are many situations that come up where it is appropriate and reasonable to react with some anxiety. If you didn't feel any anxiety to challenges or potential losses or failures, then something would be wrong
Anxiety disorders are distinguished from everyday, normal anxiety in that they involve anxiety that
is more intense ie. panic attacks
lasts longer ie. anxiety that lasts for hours, days or even months
leads to phobias that interfere with your life.
I hope this post has helped you to better understand what anxiety is and helped you to distinguish what normal anxiety is from an anxiety disorder. If you think you might have an anxiety disorder, there is no better time to start looking for answers and solutions.