Just like any other emotion, anxiety too is an emotion triggered by inner turmoil and accompanied by nervous behavior along with pacing back and forth and rumination. Anxiety is often confused with fear, both are not the same. Former is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat whereas latter is triggered due to expectation of future threat.
Difference between fear and anxiety:
Both can be differentiated in four domains –
- DURATION OF EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE
- TEMPORAL FOCUS
- SPECIFICITY OF THE THREAT
- MOTIVATED DIRECTION
Fear is short lived, present focused and geared towards a particular threat, anxiety on the other hand is, defined as long-acting, future focused, broadly focused towards a diffuse threat and promoting excessive caution while approaching a potential threat. Anxiety may cause psychiatric and physiological symptoms.
During anxiety a person may feel uneasy and worry some, often an overreaction to a situation which is only subjectively menacing. If a person experiences it regularly then there’s an urgent need of medical attention as the person may be suffering from anxiety disorder.
Types of anxieties:
- Its effects can be seen when people starts questioning their existence.
- It burdens the individual with finding a purpose in life.
- It may cause isolation of the person and a heightened sense of mortality.
- Existentialists do not themselves see this as a problem in need of treatment, when this problem impairs daily functioning or manifest as emotional or physical pain, traditional treatments for anxiety such as medication or talk therapy can be helpful.
- Math anxiety is related to poor math performance on math achievement tests is directly related to negative attitudes concerning math.
- Due to math anxiety the person eventually starts neglecting math and as such avoiding situations where he/she may have to perform mathematical calculations.
- In college and university, anxious math students take fewer math courses and tend to feel negative towards math.
- Also known as “somatization”.
- Symptoms of this anxiety are physical such as, butterflies in the stomach.
- It is however, interesting to note that it has often been pushed aside and is not being treated as seriously as other forms of anxiety.
- Its affect may make a person to want to avoid social gatherings. Studies show that adults with this disorder often receive traces of it during their childhood.
- Test anxiety is simply put a nervousness or uneasiness felt by students who have a fear of failing exam.
- Person giving the test may feel the following: feeling or loss of control, shivering, sweating, dizziness, headaches, racing heartbeats, nausea, uncontrollable crying or laughing etc.
- Test anxiety relies on fear of negative evaluation.
- The fear of failing at a task and being negatively evaluated for failure can have a similarly negative effect on adults too.
- Stage fright is also known as performance anxiety and can be caused due to pressure on an individual to perform in front of an audience.
- It includes participation in any activity involving public self- representation.
- It often arises due to a mere anticipation of a performance, often a long time ahead.
- It is often found among people who are completely new to being in front of an audience.
- It affects one’s confidence in job interviews.
- It can also be seen in school situations, like stand up projects and class speeches.
- The person may start to feel the sensation of being scared or nervous.
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is also known as social phobia, it causes distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life.
- The person often fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.
- It exceeds the normal “shyness” and soon enough this fear leads to social avoidance.
- Person may fear and refrain from activities including social interaction, dating, parties, talking to strangers, interviews etc.
- The victim feels nervous in the presence of people with authority and feel uncomfortable during physical examinations.
Anxiety can heighten other mental illnesses too, such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and panic disorder. Anxiety symptoms can be masking an organic disease. It can be present either for short term “state” or a long term, “trait“. Trait anxiety represents worrying about future events.
Sometimes anxiety may occur due to genetics but can also be due to drug abuse, along with caffeine as well as withdrawal from drugs of abuse. They often occur along with certain other mental disorders including, bipolar disease, eating disorders, major depressive disorder or certain personality disorders.
Neurological = Headache, Paresthesias, Vertigo or Presyncope.
Digestive = Abdominal pain, Nausea, Diarrhea, Indigestion, Dry mouth or Bolus.
Respiratory = Shortness of breath or Sighing breathing.
Cardiac = Palpitations, tachycardia or chest pain
Muscular = Fatigue, tremors or Tetany
Cutaneous = Perspiration or itchy skin
Uro-genital = Frequent urination, urinary urgency, dyspareunia or impotence.