Anxiety: What is normal?

In todays world, anxiety pulses from the retail stores and social media feeds. It leaks into every aspect of our fast paced lives like a suffocating smog. It is easy to wonder how much of this anxiety is normal or healthy. Knowing the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder will help you live a more enjoyable life. Unified Family Therapy in Draper offers services for people of all ages who suffer from anxiety. We can help you understand what is normal anxiety and what deserves extra support.

What is Normal Anxiety?

Anxiety is a sense of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, fear, or dread about something that is about to happen or what could possibly happen. Anxiety is a sense of anticipated danger, trouble, or threat.

Everyone experiences anxiety differently. For some, mild anxiety can include a feeling of uneasiness. For others, a more intense anxiety can feel like sheer panic, dread, or fear. Tension, worrying and stress are all different forms of anxiety. Stage fright and the shyness that can come with meeting new people are also forms of anxiety.

New or unfamiliar situations will naturally prompt feelings of anxiety or nervousness. Physical reactions like a sweaty hands, upset stomach, or pounding heart can be part of normal anxiety, too. Facing an important test, an anticipated date, or a work or class presentation can cause a normal amount of anxiety. Even though these situations don’t actually threaten harm, we feel “threatened” by potential embarrassment, worry about making a good impression, making a mistake, or not fitting in.

Sometimes anxiety can actually help us do our best in situations that involve performance because we will become more focused and determined. However, there are times when too much anxiety can cause people to feel overwhelmed, tongue-tied, or debilitated.

What is an Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. Excessive amounts of anxiety, fear, nervousness, worry, or dread that cause a person to feel preoccupied, distracted, tense, and always on alert are signs that a person may be dealing with a mental health issue that requires extra support.

Anxiety disorders affect people of all ages — children, teens, and adults alike. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, with different symptoms. In general, if anxiety affects a person’s daily life and happiness there is an underlying problem that may need attention.

Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can come on suddenly, or they can build gradually and linger until a person begins to realize that something is wrong. Sometimes anxiety creates a sense of doom and foreboding that seems to come out of nowhere. It’s common for those with an anxiety disorder to not know what’s causing the emotions, worries, and sensations they have.