The term anxiety is broad. People might use it to describe feelings of worry that come and go. Most people experience this type of anxiety at some point. It usually doesn’t last long or spill over into every aspect of their lives.
Or people might use the word anxiety to talk about an anxiety disorder, which is a more serious problem. With an anxiety problem, the feelings are intense and frequent. They get in the way of everyday functioning. People with this level of anxiety might be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety isn’t the same thing as stress. Stress is a response to a challenge, and it’s usually temporary. The feelings go away once the challenge has passed or the situation is over. But when stress is ongoing, it can lead to anxiety.
Learn about the
difference between being anxious and having an anxiety problem
. Then find out about the
connection between stress and anxiety