Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Individual Therapy: Worry vs. Anxiety- What is the Difference?

Individual Therapy: Are Worry and Anxiety the Same Thing?

Anxiety and depression are some of the most common reasons that you might seek individual therapy at our office. But how can you tell the difference between anxiety and “normal” worrying? Isn’t it normal to have some worries? How can you know if your worries have turned into anxiety?

Today, you will learn more about how to recognize anxiety vs. worrying. You will also learn how individual therapy can help worries and anxiety. (Related article: Anxiety Help- Tips and Resources from a Counselor). 

Worry Vs. Anxiety

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If you are reading this, you might be experiencing a lot of worrying. And that worrying can make you wonder “is this anxiety?”. Worry is not always anxiety. But worrying can be a sign that you may be experiencing anxiety. (Source)

Clear as mud, right? The difference between typical worrying and anxiety lies in the frequency and severity of your worries. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if your worries might be something more:

Are your worries logical and reasonable? 

For instance, maybe you worry about your child when they go to school. You want them to have a good day. This is a logical worry, and is understandable. 

However, you might also find yourself constantly worrying about your child being kidnapped from school. Is this a reasonable situation that could occur? Probably not. Anxiety tends to create overwhelming worries that might be illogical or unrealistic. (Related Article: Help For Anxiety). 

Does your worry come and go? Or is it constant?

It’s normal to worry about doing well in school, and to have these worries become more intense around test time. However, what may be less common is worrying so excessively that you cannot sleep or eat for days before your exams and you can’t focus effectively in class. Anxiety can cause excessive, constant worrying that you cannot seem to explain or reason away. (Relatedindividual therapy article: Just Breathe! Reduce Anxiety with This Simple Exercise). 

Does your worry keep you from your daily tasks and activities?

Worrying can be a normal, useful tool used by your brain to keep you safe. However, anxiety is when you worry so frequently and intensely that you struggle to accomplish your normal tasks. 

For example, you might be so nervous about being in a car accident that you refuse to drive, or you are late to important appointments because you won’t use the freeway. Worrying should not be so overwhelming that it interferes with your ability to happily live your life. 

Anxiety is Common

If you read those examples and they felt familiar, do not panic! You might be surprised to find that anxiety is very common. In fact, research has found that about 19% of adults in the U.S. have had anxiety in the past year. And nearly one third of all adults will experience anxiety at least once in their lives. (Source). You are not alone. And there are things you can do to manage your anxiety and learn how to cope. (Related article: Anxiety Counseling). 

Individual Therapy Can Help Manage Your Anxiety

This is where   individual therapy can help. Your therapist can help you learn the tools you need to effectively confront and manage your anxiety. And when you are able to manage your anxiety symptoms, you can live a happier life. 

Ready to take the first step? Start counseling for anxiety in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork. 

Written by Lauren Adkins

Utah Therapy


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