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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the difference between stress and anxiety?

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    Lifeline is a national charity delivering 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians. Lifeline connects people to a broad range of national … View Profile

    Anxiety is a mental health disorder which relates to a clinical diagnosis – and is treatable as such. The experience of anxiety may be similar to stress; however, anxiety as a condition can continue unless there is intervention and treatment.
     
    Anyone experiencing the symptoms of stress for a continued period should consider approaching their General Practitioner or a mental health professional for assessment regarding the nature of the condition.

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    I am a psychologist in private practice.I also lecture and supervise psychologists/psychology students at University.I work with clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. I … View Profile

    Stress is a term that is usually used to describe times in our lives that are difficult and challanging. Anxiety can occur in response to that stressful event. In this case, anxiety can be a natural and temporary response to a situation that is associated with feelings of fear.

    When a person experiences anxiety in the absence of a stressful event, or if the Anxious response is out of proportion to the stressful event, and if the feelings of Anxiety continue for some months or years with no obvious cause, then that person may have an Anxiety disorder.

    What some anxious people report is an awarness that their feelings of distress have continued for some time beyond any kind of stressful event. They find themselves wondering why they seem less able to cope with stress than other people. Some anxious people comment that while they feel anxious and worried much of the time, they can not find a logical cause. They say things like: “my life is pretty good but I find myself tortured by fears of what might happen”. While they can see that much of their worries never  become a reality, they find themselves unable to stop worrying. They comment that the seem to “find things to worry about”. These worries can keep a person awake at night, and also destroy any possiblity of pleasure in the present moment. I hope this has helped.

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