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When do anxiety becomes a disorder?

Let's talk about anxiety disorder in a broader sense. Before we begin let us start with what we know about anxiety disorders. (1) Anxiety disorders are the most frequent diagnoses

in the general population. (2) Anxiety disorders are co-morbid with depression about 50 per cent of the time. (3) Most individuals with one anxiety disorder also suffer from a second anxiety disorder. and (4) Women are two times more likely than men to develop anxiety disorders.

So when does anxiety becomes a disorder?

We all feel afraid, concerned, worried and anxious at times, so when do our worries cross the line and turn into a disorder? According to Professor Kent Hutchison from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Anxiety becomes a disorder when (1) It is severe enough to lower your quality of life. (2) It is chronic and frequent enough to interfere with functioning. And (3) It is out of proportion to the dangers that they truly face. For some examples of the difference between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder consider the following scenarios.



Worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic breakup or other important life events.

Constant and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life.

Embarrassment or self-consciousness in an uncomfortable or awkward social situation.

Avoiding social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated.

A case of nerves or sweating before a big test, business presentation, stage performance or other significant event.

Seemingly out of the blue panic attacks and the preoccupation with the fear of having another one.

Realistic fear of a dangerous object, place or situation.

Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place or situation that poses little or no threat of danger.

Anxiety, sadness or difficulty sleeping immediately after a traumatic event.

Recurring nightmares, flashbacks or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before.


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About the Author


Dr. Lennie Soo

Founder and Clinical Director of 360 Wellness Hub.

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