“Fear can have a voice, but it doesn’t get a vote.”
What’s the difference between anxiety versus an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety is part of life and it’s inevitable that we all experience it in our life especially if it’s triggered by a specific stressor or event. For example, if an individual is being chased by a bear in the woods the physical sensations of anxiety are necessary in order to protect you from danger with the activation of the “fight-or-flight” response. Although there are times you can experience anxiety in situations that do not warrant danger, it only becomes problematic when symptoms are frequent, excessive, and interferes with your daily life. The anxiety sufferer may start to avoid certain situations that may trigger anxiety symptoms as well as lead to engaging in safety behaviors. In this case, the brain is signaling false alarms when there is no actual danger, and part of treatment is learning how to filter out those false alarms.
Anxiety does not get to make the decisions for your life, and part of treatment involves the client learning how to manage their anxiety symptoms by using evidence-based treatment including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which helps the client live a life that is values-based rather than fear-based.