Anxiety or Anxiety Disorder

What’s the difference between Normal Anxiety and an Anxiety Disorder?

Normal Anxiety: Occasional worry about circumstantial events, such as an exam or break-up, that may leave you upset    

Anxiety Disorder:  Constant, chronic and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress, disturbs your social life and interferes with classes and work

Normal Anxiety: Embarrassment or self-consciousness in the face of uncomfortable social situations
Anxiety Disorder: Avoidance of common social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated

Normal Anxiety: Random case of “nerves” or jitters, dizziness and/or sweating over an important event like an exam or oral presentation

Anxiety Disorder: Repeated, random panic attacks or persistent worry/anticipation of another panic attack and feelings of terror or impending doom

Normal Anxiety: Realistic fear of a threatening object, place or situation

Anxiety Disorder: Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place or situation that poses little or no threat of danger

Normal Anxiety: Wanting to be sure that you are healthy and living in a safe, hazard-free environment    

Anxiety Disorder: Performing uncontrollable, repetitive actions, such as washing your hands repeatedly or checking things over and over

Normal Anxiety: Anxiety, sadness or difficulty sleeping immediately following a traumatic event    

Anxiety Disorder: Ongoing and recurring nightmares, flashbacks or emotional numbing relating to a traumatic event in your life that occurred several months or years ago