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What is anxiety and is it the same thing as worrying?

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Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Ongoing anxiety, though, may be the result of a disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety. Anxiety disorders are commonplace in the U.S., affecting nearly 40 million adults. Anxiety manifests itself in multiple ways and does not discriminate by age, gender, or race. Stressful events such as a test or a job interview can make anyone feel a bit anxious. And sometimes, a little worry or anxiety is helpful. It can help you get ready for an upcoming situation. For instance, if you’re preparing for a job interview, a little worry or anxiety may push you to find out more about the position. Then you can present yourself more professionally to the potential employer. Worrying about a test may help you study more and be more prepared on test day. But excessive worriers react quickly and intensely to these stressful situations or triggers. Even thinking about the situation can cause chronic worriers great distress and disability. Excessive worry or ongoing fear or anxiety is harmful when it becomes so irrational that you can’t focus on reality or think clearly. People with high anxiety have difficulty shaking their worries. When that happens, they may experience actual physical symptoms.

From: How Worrying Affects the Body WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders” and "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)."

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: “Brief Overview of Anxiety Disorders.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 10, 2017

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SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders” and "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)."

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: “Brief Overview of Anxiety Disorders.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 10, 2017

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