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What Is the Difference Between Nervousness and Anxiety?

Nervousness is often conflated with anxiety. Though these two concepts overlap, they aren’t the same. For starters, nervousness is an emotion; anxiety is the term for a category of mental health disorders characterized by excessive worry and nervousness. Emotions are normal parts of life. The differences go much deeper than this, however. In this blog, we’ll outline major distinctions between nervousness and anxiety.

Duration of Nervousness and Anxiety

Typically, nervousness occurs for short periods as a result of stimuli. The stimuli don’t have to make rational sense. Your emotions are valid whether they’re logical or not. They do have some sort of cause, however. Once that cause is sufficiently resolved, the nervousness goes away.

In contrast, anxiety symptoms, including nervousness, occur for months at a time with little to no relief. They might be triggered or exacerbated by a stimulus, but they persist even after the stimulus is resolved. To receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the symptoms must last for at least six months.

Intensity of the Symptoms

You might feel a little overwhelmed by feelings of nervousness, but they won’t petrify you. You’ll still be capable of engaging with the stimulus by emotionally regulating. Additionally, you’ll be able to perform daily activities while still feeling nervous. Usually, you won’t feel the need to self-medicate or self-harm to handle nervousness.

Anxiety feels so strong that it interferes with your day-to-day functions. You might fall into self-defeating behaviors to ease the situation. The issue will continue despite the maladaptive coping. Without effective treatment, anxiety will continue.

Effects on the Body

Sometimes, nervousness can cause physical effects like shakiness and sweaty palms. However, it only has minimal impacts. Anxiety disorders almost always cause psychosomatic symptoms. They take a toll on the body. The physical symptoms can include heart palpitations, chest pain, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, increased saliva production, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

Nervousness and anxiety can occur at the same time, but they’re two separate concepts. If you find your nervousness is impairing your daily life and persisting over time, you might have an anxiety disorder. You should speak to your doctor about your experiences. Additionally, you might benefit from seeking treatment. The Guest House is ready to welcome you with open arms. Our treatment facility can help you with anxiety disorders. If you have a co-occurring addiction that formed through self-medication, we can provide you with dual diagnosis care. Reach out to us at (855) 483-7800.