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The Differences Between Worry and Anxiety

Have you been feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed?

Are you struggling to describe your feelings?

Tired of having your feelings dismissed as just being “worried”?

Anxiety Treatment at Michigan Psychological Care

People often use the terms “worry” and “anxiety” interchangeably, but doctors say they are very different psychological traits. Although they are both associated with a general sense of concern, the way we experience them is quite different. In order to help you understand the difference and get effective treatment, we have three facilities throughout central Michigan: 

Anxiety Treatment in Alma, Michigan - Gratiot Psychological Services

Anxiety Treatment in Midland, Michigan​ - Midland Psychological Services

Anxiety Treatment in Clinton County, Michigan - Clinton County Medical Center Psychological Services

The five main differences between worry and anxiety, according to Psychology Today, are:

  1. How You Experience Worry or Anxiety 
    You actually experience worry and anxiety differently. When you’re worried, it’s more focused on thoughts in your head. On the other hand, anxiety is a physical response that you feel throughout your body.

  2. You Worry About Something Specific Where Anxiety is More General
    For example, you might worry about getting to the airport on time - a specific threat. Anxiety is more vague. You may feel anxious about actually traveling and not getting to a specific destination or how you’re getting there. 

  3. You Express Worry Verbally While You Keep Anxiety Internally
    Worry is verbally focused, while anxiety includes both verbal thoughts and mental imagery. This difference is important. Emotional images associated with anxiety cause increased cardiovascular and physical responses. On the other hand, worry remains a verbal thought response without a physiological response. This is another reason why you might experience anxiety throughout the body.

  4. When You Worry You Focus on Solutions – You Don’t with Anxiety
    If you’re worried about something specific like a work project or a loved one, you often think of solutions. Since anxiety is more vague; you don’t think about finding solutions or strategies to improve the situation. When you’re experiencing anxiety, it’s more like being stuck on a hamster wheel that doesn’t lead to productive solutions.

  5. Worry = Mild Emotional Distress / Anxiety = Severe Emotional Distress
    When you’re worried about something specific, you can experience some emotional distress, but it’s usually tempered because you’re trying to find a solution. Anxiety keeps you in a constant state of emotional distress that is far more disruptive to your overall mental health because there’s often a feeling that you can’t escape.

Do any of those five differences stand out to you? Have you experienced feelings like those described above?

If you’ve experienced feelings that you think are closer to anxiety than just general worry, Contact Us at Michigan Psychological Care. Our experienced therapists will take the time to sit down with you, listen and understand what you’re going through and come up with a plan to help you deal with your anxiety disorder.

Michigan Psychological Care is here to help with your anxiety disorder. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, you don’t have to do it alone! We have three facilities throughout central Michigan ready to help you!

Anxiety Treatment in Alma, Michigan - Gratiot Psychological Services

(989) 796-4555

Anxiety Treatment in Midland Michigan - Midland Psychological Services

(989) 510-7626

Anxiety Treatment in Clinton County, Michigan - Clinton County Medical Center Psychological Services

(989) 292-3572

Schedule Your Appointment Today!