Feeling anxious is normal.
Some people feel anxious about certain things every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have an anxiety disorder. However, when those anxious feelings start to take over someone’s life and even become debilitating, it could be a sign of something more serious.
It is the contrast of temporary versus chronic anxiety. For some, anxious thoughts and feelings of hopelessness come and go. For others, it can be a chronic condition that impacts their quality of life on a regular basis.
So, what are the biggest differences between chronic anxiety and temporary anxiety?
To determine that, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms and how they can impact you in different ways.
What Is Temporary Anxiety?
To say life is stressful would be an understatement. Therefore, as noted at the outset, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious at times. Temporary anxiety can either come and go, or it can show up in a particular situation.
For example, if you’re going through a divorce and have to go to court, you might develop feelings of anxiety over that particular event. But, once it’s over, your anxiety will be gone. Or maybe you’ve got a big job interview coming up and your nerves have pushed you all the way to fear over how it’s going to go. Once the interview is completed, though, your feelings usually subside.
Anxiety is different from nerves. The symptoms can be somewhat debilitating, even if they’re only temporary. But, if your anxiety comes and goes based on specific situations and you still feel as though you have a handle on the symptoms, consider that a good thing!
It’s when those symptoms start to feel as though they’re taking over your life that you may be struggling with something chronic.
How Is Chronic Anxiety Different?
Some of the most common signs of anxiety include feeling nervous, having a sense of impending doom, and having an increased heart rate. Physical symptoms like shortness of breath or sweating can also occur.
Those signs and symptoms can show up even if you’re experiencing temporary anxiety. But what happens when they start to become more consistent?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety regularly, you could have chronic anxiety or even a generalized anxiety disorder. Most of these disorders cause anxiety symptoms to feel even worse and can lead to more extreme signs like:
An inability to focus on anything but the fear or worry
- Intrusive thoughts
- Heart palpitations
Chronic anxiety means chronic worrying, which can wreak havoc on your mind and body. In some cases, the symptoms can become so severe that they can keep you from doing the things you love, spending time with people, and even going to work.
Some people have “triggers” that contribute to their chronic anxiety, while others tend to feel anxious about a variety of things that can cause them to feel debilitated.
What Can You Do to Treat Anxiety?
While temporary anxiety tends to come and go on its own, chronic anxiety is far more serious. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually go away without some kind of treatment plan in place.
The purpose of anxiety treatment is to manage your symptoms, learn the underlying causes of your anxiety, and know how to cope with your fears and worries in a healthy and productive way. Therapy is one of the best ways to accomplish that. Once you’re able to discover some of the triggers you face on a regular basis and some of your symptoms, you can learn the skills needed to control them.
You don’t have to let anxiety take over any aspect of your life. Whether it comes and goes or seems to keep coming back, you can find freedom from the worry and fear. If you’re struggling, feel free to contact me for more information about how I can help.