Many people tend to use anxiety and stress interchangeably, but there are some differences between both. These conditions may be related, but only an appropriate diagnosis will help you know whether you should manage anxiety or deal with stress. Read on to discover how these differ from each other so that you can create a proper treatment plan to control anxiety or stress.
The Main Difference
Anxiety usually comes from within a person. In other words, there may not be an external factor to make you anxious. Conversely, the source of stress is an external factor or two. Also known as external triggers, these factors can be work deadlines, quarrels with your spouse, monetary issues, and living with some long-lasting health condition. Stress is categorized into three forms: ‘chronic’, ‘acute’, and ‘episodic’. In the event you deal with the reason for the issue, i.e., the stressor, it would usually cease to exist in you. This means it is perfectly possible to deal with stress without relying on any specific medication or some medical service.
Conversely, anxiety is an excessive and constant worry, which can exist even if there is no obvious or direct stressor. It tends to escalate into serious health conditions, such as panic disorder, to name one. Anxiety symptoms are very similar to stress symptoms, so several individuals do not differentiate the two conditions properly. The most common symptoms that are observed in the case of anxiety and mental stress are as follows:
- Irritability, which tends to make the person angry
- Muscular tension
- Difficulty in focusing
- Digestive issues
- Difficulty in sleeping
The organization, the American Psychological Association, states that these two conditions are treatable with mechanisms such as meditation, nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, and so forth.
Anxiety disorders are highly likely to be very serious because of chronic escalations and several other factors. An example of a factor is stress accumulation. Stress accumulating in an individual who has an anxiety disorder possibly leads to a stage where they lose self-control or control over a situation. Other factors are unlikely to be as obvious as the build-up of stress. Serious anxiety disorders are highly likely to turn into very debilitating health issues, so it is vital to talk to a psychiatrist about guided therapy. Occasionally, these health issues have to be treated with prescription drugs and psychotherapy.
Anyhow, stress can cause serious and long-lasting conditions such as anxiety. Therefore, both conditions should not be regarded without a lot of seriousness, despite their similarities and distinctions.