Question: What is the difference between having an anxiety disorder and feeling 'stressed-out'?
Answer: Everyone who has a heart beat and breathes feels stressed-out at times. It's just a part of the human condition. We feel stressed if our marriage might not be going well, or worried about a job, or worried about money, or how our children go in school. That's usually a normal reaction -- it tends to be short-lived and doesn't require treatment. But over 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder.
This is a disorder where the anxiety or fear interferes with their daily life and robs it of pleasure. There are a number of types of anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias and social anxiety disorder. All of these are very treatable, and the first step is often by going to see your family doctor to discuss these symptoms with him.