Anxiety: When It's More Than Just a Feeling

What is the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety: When It's More Than Just a Feeling

Anxiety--we’ve all heard of it, we’ve all felt it. But when is anxiety within normal limits and when does it go beyond that?

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Almost all of us have felt anxious at some point in our lives. Think about how you were feeling sitting in your desk right before a seemingly impossible test, how you felt just before you had a really difficult conversation with someone, or what it was like as you prepared for your first day at a new job.

When you’re feeling anxious, a lot of times you experience:

  • Restlessness

  • Shakiness

  • Stomach upset or nausea

  • Sweating

  • Muscle tension

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Irritability

Anxiety as a Feeling is Temporary

You get through that test, have that conversation, and finish up your first day on the job and those feelings go away. You’re breathe a sigh of relief and now you’re able to relax. Those are examples of feeling anxious. You’re feeling discomfort but you’re able to go on with your daily activities and feel better right after you get through the thing that was stressing you out. That’s totally normal and a part of most of our lives from time to time!

When Anxiety is More Than a Feeling

For some of us, those anxious feelings don’t just disappear. They keep showing up, day in and day out. Maybe we can’t even pinpoint what is making us feel this way, we just know that we feel it. Sometimes it even gets to the point where we can’t keep doing what we normally do. We’re feeling so anxious that things that used to be simple tasks, like taking tests, going to work, or going out at all, seem so overwhelming. Some days are better than others, but there’s almost always a sense of impending doom, like something is bound to go wrong. We expect the worst with everything and can’t shake the feeling of dread.

Could it Be an Anxiety Disorder?

This is more than just feeling anxious. If this continues, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. It may feel like it sometimes, but you’re not alone. According to SAMSHA, close to 40 million Americans (or 18 percent of the US population) face an anxiety disorder yearly. Anxiety is one of the most common mental conditions, and something that many people will face in their lifetime.

Reach out For Support

If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Talk with a trusted friend or loved one. Reach out to a therapist. You are not a lost cause. Being in the throes of anxiety can be incredibly difficult. However, you are not alone and there is always someone there to support you. Reach out to us today to get more information on getting connected with one of our clinicians.

Anxiety therapy in Westchester, NY

Hudson LCSW Group is a Westchester county counseling practice located in White Plains, NY. Our team of therapists provide anxiety therapy for children, teens, and adults.