When discussing anxiety, we also have to talk about fear too. What is the difference between the two?

Anxiety and fear are closely related. They are both alerting signals, but they appear to prepare our body for different actions. Anxiety is a generalized response to an unknown threat or internal conflict, whereas fear is focused on known external danger.

Fear is a reaction to a threat in the present moment or something that you have experienced before that could very well likely happen again. Fear is real, external, known or objective.

For instance if someone has broken into your house before, you might have a fear that someone breaks in tonight again while you sleep, which might make it difficult for you to fall asleep because the fear signals to your body that it is not safe to fall asleep. This is a fear because it has happened before and it might be a known threat in the area where you live.

Anxiety is more future-oriented towards an unknown threat that can potentially happen. Anxiety is a sense of uncontrollability focused largely on possible future threats, danger, or other upcoming potentially negative events. So not something that is bound to happen or has happened before, but something that can potentially happen. And as you know so many things can happen- some which we can control, and some which we cannot control. For example you might be worried whether your daughter gets in a car accident, or that you lose my job, or that you get cancer.

So to sum up fear is a reaction to a real threat, whereas anxiety is largely focused on threats, danger or other upcoming potentially negative events.

We believe that nobody should be alone in the midst of a tough time in their lives. Therefore we encourage you to speak up if you’re going through a difficult time in your life at the moment. We all do at some point in our lives.

Remember that you can find many resources on our website, and learn much more about mental health.

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