What is the difference between common anxiety and anxiety disorder?

Generalised anxiety disorder is a type of neurosis, meaning that it develops on the background of stress and a depleted nervous system. It is normal to be anxious. This function of our psyche is as necessary as the unloved

pain, which signals a malfunction in the body that needs to be addressed for the sake of health and life. But at some point, the anxiety mechanism can break down and it begins to haunt and exhaust a person. How to determine that a tense state is no longer a simple anxiety, but an anxiety disorder that requires medical attention.

Common anxiety

anxiety disorder

Situational and concrete, it is a response to a specific situation. The subject of the anxiety is real, not purely hypothetical. It is controllable, it is easy to be distracted from it, to forget it. It does not interfere with everyday life, work, or communication with people. Does not cause strong emotional stress, stress. It is short-lived, disappearing on its own as soon as the subject of anxiety becomes irrelevant.


Anxiety is inadequate to the stimulus, intrusive, excessive. Often, fantasies and inventions of tragic situations become the subject of anxiety. It is impossible to get rid of internal tension, to distract oneself. It interferes with normal life activities, reduces the ability to concentrate, and in communication all topics are reduced to possible unpleasant situations and their consequences. It causes stress and exhaustion. We can talk about GAD if anxiety is experienced almost every day for several months.

It is also important to distinguish between a GTR and a:

‘phobias: with phobias, there is a fear of a specific thing/phenomenon/event, while with GAD, the object of fear changes depending on the situation;

‘panic attacks: a panic attack is short-lived, the main fear is the fear of death, and the anxiety can last for months;

`obsessive-compulsive disorders: on the one hand, OCD is obsessive thoughts that something bad may happen, on the other hand, it can cause unconscious and uncontrolled motor activity, but the causes and mechanisms of anxiety disorder development differ from obsessive-compulsive disorders.

‘Other symptoms of anxiety are nightmares, panic attacks, painful unpleasant thoughts that cannot be removed. Sometimes feelings of unreasonable fear and anxiety are associated with certain places or events, and sometimes they are general.

General anxiety symptoms include:

‘Acceleration of the heart rate

‘Rapid breathing

‘Feeling anxious

‘Problems with concentration

‘Difficulty falling asleep

‘Symptoms of anxiety are individual and can vary completely from person to person.

Different psychotherapeutic methods are successful for different people:

Cognitive methods can help block intrusive thoughts about an unrealistic state of being.

Behavioural therapies can help patients to perform tasks that distract them.

Grounding techniques use different senses (e.g. playing loud music or having the patient take a piece of ice in their hands) to help people feel more present in the moment and more connected to their body and environment.

Psychodynamic therapy helps patients to deal with negative feelings, hidden conflicts or experiences that, when accumulated, provoke symptoms.

What is self-help and how can it contribute to well-being and a balanced life? In this article, we will explore these questions and look at the key aspects of self-care…

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