Have you ever felt extremely nervous before a big test or an important interview? What about prior to a playoff game or asking someone out on a date? These feelings of concern and tension are a normal part of life. Everyone worries about things like health, money, and relationships at different times. But can everyone have anxiety?
While everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, not everyone has an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders and general worries about life are two very different things. People who have an anxiety disorder experience ongoing fear and worry that doesn’t go away. It often gets worse over time when left untreated.
Where is the line between normal worry and serious anxiety?
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a useful sensation in normal situations. The feeling drives you to take action. It serves as a motivator to work towards a goal or warn you about possible threats.1 For example, nerves before a test push you to study, or fear while walking down the street at night makes you pay attention to your surroundings.
However, anxiety can also exceed its useful functioning. Some people experience such severe anxiety that it interferes with schoolwork, job performance, relationships, and even daily functioning. These high levels of anxiety typically meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are pervasive and intrusive and often disrupt a person’s life.2 Some days, the condition can make it hard to carry out even the most basic tasks. There are a few different types of anxiety disorders, such as:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Phobia-related disorders
But where is the line between worry and anxiety?
So, Everyone Can Have Anxiety?
Everyone with anxiety worries, but not everyone who worries has anxiety. Overwhelming worry and concern are primary features of an anxiety disorder. But unlike most people, those with anxiety disorders have a harder time finding relief from their constant feelings of unease and uncertainty.
An estimated 19.1% of adults in the United States experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year.3 At some point in their life, 31.1% of adults experience an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; symptoms range from mild to severe. Some symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling restless, on edge, or wound-up
- Feeling easily fatigued
- Feelings of impending doom
- Crippling self-esteem or self-confidence issues
- Having troubles concentrating
- Difficulties managing feelings of fear or dread
- Sleeping problems, like a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep
- Pounding heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Muscle tenseness
So can everyone have anxiety? Sure, people can experience anxiety at times, but the majority of people do not meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder.
Is There a Cure For Anxiety?
Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for anxiety disorders in the traditional sense of the word. However, people can learn to manage their anxiety and experience a fulfilling life with proper treatment. Treatment for anxiety disorders usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Clearview Treatment Programs is a certified and well-established treatment network for those looking for help with anxiety and other mental health disorders. Located in Southern California, we provide comprehensive, specialized care backed by our years of experience in helping people forge the path to recovery.
To learn more about the programs we offer, please call us today at 866-339-3544!
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Do I have anxiety or worry: What’s the difference?.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2022). Anxiety Disorders.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Any Anxiety Disorder.