Anxiety vs. Chronic Anxiety: What's The Difference?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to certain situations, and in some instances can be very beneficial. The proper amount of anxiety experienced at the proper time can increase alertness, provide motivation, increase preparedness, help avoid harm, and even help provide support and develop relationships. Chronic anxiety, however, is an out-of-proportion response that largely negates these benefits. When chronic anxiety becomes uncontrollable and interferes with daily life, it is diagnosed as a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

People who suffer from chronic anxiety or GAD have constant and exaggerated feelings of worry that are not the result of a credible threat. They are often concerned about normal things, like money, health, relationships, or work, but they worry about them at abnormal levels. Chronic worriers often are aware that their anxiety is excessive, but they are unable to do anything about it.

As one might expect, constantly anticipating disaster takes an emotional and phsyical toll. People with chronic anxiety experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes. They are unable to relax, startle easily, and have trouble concentrating and sleeping. People with chronic anxiety also often have other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse issues.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Anxiety Support Groups

More Articles

Panic is real, and panic disorder is considered to be an illness. A panic attack is very painful and feelings of depression and helplessness may...

It's easy to feel like you're the only one feeling anxious in performance situations, whether it's giving a speech in front of a few people or...

How should this medicine be used?

Paxil or Paroxetine comes as a tablet, suspension, and controlled-release (long-acting) tablet to...

Some people with panic disorder have a pretty good idea about when a panic attack is likely--they know to expect one as the result of a certain...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ODC) is, as its name implies, characterized by a combination of obsessions and compulsions. Most of us know at...

More Articles

We may use them interchangeably, and they certainly go hand in hand, but stress and anxiety are not exactly one in the same. Yes, both can cause...

Anxiety levels can be affected by a number of different physiological disorders, including the common sleep disorder known as sleep apnea....

While anxiety can be a disorder in itself, it is also known to be a symptom of a number of physical disorders and illnesses. Before beginning...

Hoarding is the behavior of acquiring an excessive number of items that have little or no value. While many people consider themselves to be "pack...

Stress plus Type A traits can boost one's risk of having a stroke, according to findings published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery...

Not all causes of anxiety require a therapist; if you suffer from anxiety there are ways to self-help. And acknowledging that you have an anxiety...

Serax® is the brand name for the drug oxazepam, a benzodiazepine that has been in use since the 1960s.

Serax is used primarily for the...

A literature review will be presented to the 20th European Congress of Psychiatry this week by a team from the Mayo Clinic. The group will...

If you suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder, you probably feel fearful a lot of the time. Don’t let fear and anxiety rule your life!...

Advil is one of several marketing brand names for the widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly known as ibuprofen.

...

Calming your anxiety and nerves is easier said than done. “Just relax” doesn’t work, and “it’s okay” doesn’t help! So what do you do?

First...

One of the most commonly used and most effective treatments for mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders and depression, is cognitive...

The difference between anxiety and depression isn't as clear as one might initially assume. While they are different disorders with different...

Some people with panic disorder have a pretty good idea about when a panic attack is likely--they know to expect one as the result of a certain...

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, also known as (GAD), is a higher than normal level of anxiety that people experience day to day. It can fill ones...