What is the difference between Fear and Anxiety?

{{:foggy_night.jpeg?200 |}}Fear leads to two reactions: escape (running away from danger, that is avoidance) or confrontation (use of aggression and attack to deal with the source of danger). Therefore, uncontrollable or unavoidable situations, real or imagined, from which we can not escape make us anxious. It comes as a sense of helplessness in the face of unidentifiable situation.

Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling of fear and concern. It includes feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread. Anxiety is a normal reaction to a stressor. It may help an individual deal with a demanding situation by prompting them to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may become an emotional problem or a psychological disorder.

Anxiety has many names. It is the same as angst or worry. It is a psychological and physiological state, which affects our body, and our mind. It has many components. We have anxiety thoughts, feelings and emotions, and we behave in a way, which expresses our anxiety.

Anxiety is a generalized mood that can occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is different from fear. Fear is actually appropriate if there is an identifiable threat to the health or safety of the individual or his loved ones, his resources, his territory, his status or his integrity. Sometimes the perceived threat is not a real threat. Our own assessment of danger and risks around us shape our anxiety.

In Anxiety, we are concerned about the future and "what if" rather than "here you are face-to-face with a real danger". Anxiety may be a mechanism to prepare a person to get ready to cope with future negative events. Perception of a present or a future danger distinguishes fear and anxiety.

Fear is a short lived, present-focused reaction to a specific threat. Fear facilitates escape from threat. While anxiety is as long acting, future focused, broadly focused towards a diffuse threat, and promoting caution while approaching a potential threat.

Anxiety is a symptom for several psychological disorders. It may present as nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. Such psychological disorders of anxiety affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest in real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.

We often experience such state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal. Anxiety becomes a problem when symptoms interfere with a person's ability to sleep or his capacity to function and meet his day-to-day demands. Anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion of a situation.