Fear and anxiety are normal parts of life. Anxiety can be differentiated from fear by the following: fear is a rational emotion to a real threat. Anxiety, on the other hand, is an irrational response to an imagined threat. Anxiety is best described as a psychological disturbance caused by prolonged thought processes that perpetuate it. If ignored, anxiety may eventually cause irrational fears, specific phobias and panic attacks.
Anxiety—Some Warning Signs
- Constant worrying
- Trembling or muscle tension
- Feeling tense or inability to relax
- Feeling tired
- Having trouble staying focused
- Feeling irritable or grouchy
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Physically ill when worrying
For additional information on anxiety treatment, see the Resources section.