Recognizing stress and anxiety: What is an anxiety disorder?

Imagine you have a big exam or a public speech due. How would you feel…nervous? Most of us would naturally feel so. Once it’s done with, the stress and anxiety goes away.

However, what if this nervousness stays? What if you are always panicking about the future?

If you relate to this, you may be suffering from stress and anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear about what’s to come.

Stress, on the other hand, is your body’s way of responding to threat. If working properly, your ‘stress response’ can help you deal with challenging situations.

However, stress becomes a problem when it’s excessive. It starts hampering your mental and physical health.

275 million affected

According to this study published by Hannah Richie and Max Roser, nearly 275 million were recorded as suffering from anxiety.

Types of anxiety

While anxiety is a general feeling of fear, it is categorized into different types. Some of the most common ones are:

1: Generalized anxiety disorder

Excessive worry about routine events and general concerns such as health, family, money etc.

2: Social anxiety disorder

Feeling of fear and self-consciousness in social situations.

3: Phobias

Some people have an extreme fear of specific things such as insects and reptiles, darkness, etc.

Causes of stress and anxiety disorders

Several factors include:

  • Emotional trauma such as the death of a loved one
  • Medical illnesses such as hyperthyroidism, heart disease, diabetes etc.
  • Childhood trauma such as domestic or sexual abuse