Psychologist Questions Psychologist

Is anxiety the same as stress?

I am a 32 year old male. I normally have stress but what I feel now is impending doom about the coronavirus. Is anxiety the same as stress?

5 Answers

No. Stress is usually caused by an external trigger. Stress causes mental and physical symptoms. These include: irritability, fatigue, anger, muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, etc. Anxiety is defined by constant and excessive worry that does not go away even when the stressor is not present. Anxiety has very similar symptoms in comparison to stress (insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, muscle tension, etc.). In addition, anxiety can also be triggered by medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism.
Dear Sir, 

It is understandable that you are feeling more stressed out due to the CORONA virus and its 3rd surge. When we are hearing on daily news the number of people dying of the pandemic it is normal to feel the doom. Anxieties are the feeling that stem from our dealing with a stress in our life. How you manage it is up to you. You may want to focus on the positive things in your life and a possible vaccine around the corner.  You may want to see a licensed psychologist to help you deal with this unbearable anxiety and feelings of doom. Find someone in your area. 
Take care and remain safe. 

Dr. Lata Sonpal
The way I define things, is that stress is referring to the stuff on the outside that causes us to feel anxiety on the inside. We mixed up the terms when people say, "I am stressed out." A feeling of impending doom suggests that your anxiety is rising. You might find it helpful to talk to someone, or to learn some new coping strategies to handle the stress and anxiety that comes with it. Indeed, the Coronavirus is stressful, and is causing many more people to feel higher anxiety even as it drags on and on. Good coping strategies include: meditation or relaxation exercises, yoga, vigorous exercise, hobbies, and social support/friends you can be open with. You don't even have to leave the house to explore these or find new ones. Online groups, meditation classes and apps.
Anxiety is an ancient response to a sense of danger or threat. It is not the same as stress, but can be caused by stress. While very adaptive at times of threat, it can also become a disorder. Experiencing occasional anxiety at times of stress is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time.

Experiencing anxiety during and about the coronavirus Is common. If it is interfering with your ability to function on a daily basis, teletherapy is very useful. Treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders involves cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and relaxation strategies. Finding a therapist to feel comfortable with is very important, as well as practicing strategies between therapy sessions. Lastly, my practice emphasizes individualizing treatment for each person.

Hoorie Siddique, PhD
See this link.