anxiety versus stress

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Datura, May 15, 2011.

  1. Datura surrender to nothing Registered Senior Member

    Stress has been known to cause physical ailments and compromise the immune system for quite some time.

    On the other hand, anxiety is deemed harmless, in terms of bodily harm. Why, when heart rate increases, just as it does with stress, blood pressure can be affected, and so on?

    Is there really a physiological difference between stress and anxiety which makes it "safe"? If so, what is it/are they?
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  3. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Anxiety is NOT harmless, unless you're talking very transient anxiety such as feeling nervous before taking a test. Anxiety DOES come under stress.
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  5. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    Anxiety is an extreme response to ongoing stress; while it is quite normal, it usually comes with many harmful physical symptoms. The higher the anxiety the more harmful it becomes, ongoing high levels of anxiety is called “anxiety disorder”.
    While stress is not necessarily harmful in small doses, it increases alertness and concentration; it is a natural, effective response to emergency situations.
    Stress only becomes harmful when it becomes ongoing in high levels.
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  7. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Never heard that.
    Never heard of a physiologic difference, just a time difference.

    Having anxiety attacks is very tiring. After shaking, twitching, and freaking, I'd generally like to be napping.
  8. Datura surrender to nothing Registered Senior Member

    Thanks for the responses. I've heard first hand from mental health professionals that anxiety is harmless, people on psychological forums hold the same consensus when responding to those with anxiety. Briefly searching the web before posting this only touched on insomnia as being a possible result of anxiety.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That right there falsifies the assertion that it's harmless! The second-order effects of insomnia can be life-threatening.
  10. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    There is good stress . Stress that pushes you to action and the satisfaction of a job well done from those actions . Feelings of accomplishment
  11. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member


    Is this the same anxiety that's listed in the DSM-IV-TR, which is the manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that includes all currently recognized mental health disorders?
  12. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Anxiety has damn near wrecked my marriage, because it causes my buttons to become easily and needlessly pushed.( I don't get violent, just loud)

    It causes me to go grocery shopping in the dead of night.

    It causes me to avoid crowds.

    It causes me to avoid public places.

    It causes me to always watch exits and want to know where everyone is.

    It causes me to hallucinate white blips and static.

    It causes me to forget what people are saying in the middle of a sentence...when really bad.

    It causes me to go off on people.

    It causes me to over-react to things in general.

    I'm pretty sure it's doing physiologic damage as well, but it's creating a whole lot of social havoc for me.
  13. Datura surrender to nothing Registered Senior Member

    Yes, but the curiosity surrounds -direct- bodily harm (even over time).

    My inquiry pertains to ongoing anxiety that's crippling, with or without panic attacks. An almost constant, fearful, on-edge kind of state. Most of those disorders are too specific, and not very detailed. Unless the web page I'm viewing is a condensed version of the manual.

    chimpkin - quite a few of your symptoms resonate with my previous experiences. I have had more than my share of run ins with different forms of anxiety; some lasting months, others years (the most detrimental being hypochondria followed by social phobia). With continued luck (and a bit of effort), they will remain a product of the past.
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Many psychologists operate on the assumption that "if it happens and is statistically common, then it is normal and not harmless, or at least not to be feared."
  15. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    My understanding of anxiety is that it is a normal aspect of the 'fight or flight response' and is generally of short duration, for which the healthy human body is adequately equipped by nature, as it is 'normal' to encounter danger and use this response mechanism.

    pl. anx·i·e·ties

    A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
    A cause of anxiety: For some people, air travel is a real anxiety.
    Psychiatry A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
    Eager, often agitated desire: my anxiety to make a good impression.

    When anxiety is not released or is enduring, it becomes stress and this continued state of heightened anxiety is extremely demanding on the body and can indeed lead to health consequences and a wide range of dis-ease within our system which cannot sustain this continued demand for a response, whether the 'threat' is real or imagined.

    Some good reading at this link by the American Institute of Stress:
  16. livingin360 Registered Senior Member

    anxiety causes painful and long lasting headaches for me.

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