How To Tell The Difference Between Anxiety And An Anxiety Disorder

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Introducing anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, a little is completely normal. In fact, anxiety is a very natural response to many different situations we may find ourselves in.

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Natural response

When it comes to anxiety, a little is completely normal. In fact, anxiety is a very natural response to many different situations we may find ourselves in.For instance, anxiety is one of the ways our body alerts us to danger and warn us to either fight back or remove ourselves from a dangerous situation.

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Helpful anxiety

A healthy amount of anxiety can even be helpful in certain situations. It can serve as motivation to prepare properly for an exam, for example.

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Anxiety disorders

However, when anxiety becomes uncontrollable or it gets in the way of doing things, it might be time to consider whether an anxiety disorder is at play.

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General anxiety disorder (GAD)

There are several different anxiety disorders. General anxiety disorder (GAD) looks a lot like normal anxiety at first but is characterized by constant and crippling worry.

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Panic disorder

Panic disorder occurs when someone experiences recurring and unexpected panic attacks, often without there being an obvious cause.

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Specific phobias

Specific phobias occur when someone has an excessive and irrational fear of something specific. It could be a certain place, situation, or object.

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Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder, otherwise known as social phobia, is when someone experiences anxiety and/or fear specifically in social settings.

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Separation anxiety disorder

It occurs when a child is separated from their parents or caregivers. It is a perfectly normal stage of a child’s development.

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Agoraphobia

Finally, agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes people to avoid places and situations that might make them feel trapped, helpless, or panicked (among other emotions).

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Seeking help

If you or someone you know has anxiety that is interfering with everyday life, it may be time to seek attention from a doctor or healthcare professional. There is no reason for anyone to suffer through it alone.

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