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What Is The Difference Between Fear And Anxiety

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The Pfc And The Control Of Emotional Responses

The Difference Between Anxiety And Fear

The primary roles of the PFC appear to be the analysis of complex stimuli or situations and the control of emotional responses.

There is also increasing evidence that the PFC plays an important role in controlling anxiety and the associated stress response in rats, and that cerebral laterality is an important feature of the PFC system. Thus, in a recent study right, but not left, lesions of the ventral medial PFC were shown to have anxiolytic effects, and were also more effective in suppressing the neuroendocrine and autonomic stress response.

Fear Vs Anxiety: Finding Help

In general, professionals treat anxiety disorders with a combination of psychotherapy, medications, and self-help. In many cases, psychotherapy is recommended as the first treatment, with medications recommended if psychotherapy doesnt work on its own.

Self-help includes little things you do every day to take care of yourself, like eating well, staying active, getting enough sleep, and watching your use of alcohol and drugs. These strategies can have a big impact on your long-term well-being.

At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, we offer comprehensive treatment for a variety of adult psychiatric problems, including anxiety. Were dedicated to providing all the tools you need to take control of your unique mental state, and our programs include:

  • Individual counseling

The Difference Between Fear And Anxiety

Fear and anxiety often occur together, but these terms are not interchangeable. Even though symptoms commonly overlap, a person’s experience with these emotions differs based on their context. Fear relates to a known or understood threat, whereas anxiety follows from an unknown, expected, or poorly defined threat.

Fear and anxiety both produce a similar stress response. But many experts believe that there are important differences between the two. These differences can account for how we react to various stressors in our environment.

Muscle tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath mark the most significant physiological symptoms associated with a response to danger. These bodily changes result from an inborn fight-or-flight stress response thought to be necessary for our survival.

Without this stress response, our mind wouldn’t receive the alerting danger signal and our bodies would be unable to prepare to flee or stay and battle when faced with danger.

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Diagnostic Criteria For Different Types Of Phobias

According to the DSM-5, there are three types of phobia:

The clinical characteristics of phobias depend on the type of phobia, the degree of severity in a particular individual and the amount that it interferes with the individuals ability to function normally. However, common to all three types of phobias is extreme fear or anxiety in response to a particular object or situation.

Addressing Anxiety And Fear

Anxiety Induced Depression Pasadena Villa

The following are a few things that you can do to address fear and anxiety. Generally speaking, fear and anxiety are often associated with mental health conditions. They perceived these feelings as related to various anxiety disorders, such as phobias.

Moreover, these mental conditions can affect the way we cope with life. Anxiousness can bring symptoms that can also affect our health, body, and mind. For this reason, treatment is indeed necessary as early as possible. Let us begin with the treatment you can do by yourself.

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What Is The Difference Between Dental Anxiety And Dental Fears

People use the terms dental anxiety and dental fear interchangeably, but theyre really two separate things. Both come from a place of fear, but one usually leaves people with long-term dental problems and poorer health.

With a dentist who cares and knows how to help fearful patients, you dont have to suffer from fears or anxieties alone. And you dont have to have painful gums or a smile you hide either. No matter whether you suffer from dental anxieties or fears, its important to understand what they are and find a dentist who will work with you, no matter how scared you may be.

How To Get Diagnosed

One of the first things to determine is how your specific fear or phobia impacts your life. The good news is, you dont have to figure this out alone.

During your psychological exam at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health, Dr. E can determine if you have a fear or phobia. We can also diagnose and treat co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety.

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How Do I Know If I Need Help

Fear and anxiety can affect all of us every now and then. It is only when it is severe and long-lasting that doctors class it as a mental health problem. If you feel anxious all the time for several weeks, or if it feels like your fears are taking over your life, then its a good idea to ask your doctor for help or try one of the websites or numbers listed at the back of this booklet. The same is true if a phobia is causing problems in your daily life, or if you are experiencing panic attacks.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed

The Difference Between Fear and Anxiety with Dr Susser PHD

To diagnose anxiety disorders, your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You may also have a physical exam and lab tests to make sure that a different health problem is not the cause of your symptoms.

If you don’t have another health problem, you will get a psychological evaluation. Your provider may do it, or you may be referred to a mental health professional to get one.

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Essential Facts About Phobias

A phobia is a diagnosable mental disorder, characterized by an intense and irrational fear of something. The fear and anxiety may be so intense that it interferes with your daily life. In America, 19 million people have phobias. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, some of the most common phobias include:

  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of driving
  • Health-related fears

What sets phobias apart from fear is that a person with a phobia may develop fear responses even just thinking about their phobia. Because of this people with phobias will go out of their way to avoid whatever situation or object is the source of their fear.

How To Know If You Need Help Overcoming Fear And Anxiety

Sometimes, its not possible to manage your anxiety problems by yourself and thats okay. If youve tried the above steps with no luck , reach out to a coach or counselor.

As mentioned earlier, learning how to manage fear and anxiety is a natural part of life. The fear response was evolved to help us. But it becomes maladaptive when it interferes with your ability to function.

Your anxiety symptoms may be more than you can manage alone if:

  • You often feel overwhelmed

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Other Peptides Neurotransmitters And Hormones

Several peptides, such as cholecystokinin , neuropeptide Y , tachykinins , and natriuretic peptides may play important roles in fear- and anxiety -related behaviors. CCK may be particularly relevant for panic disorders,, and may influence cognitive processes.

Excitatory amino acids , such as glutamate, are also important. In rats, microinjections of EAA into the dorsolateral PAG induce a flight reaction. Part of the effects mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors may involve nitric oxide . Nitric oxide synthase inhibitors injected in the dorsolateral PAG have been shown to have anxiolytic effects, and psychological stress induced an increased expression of neuronal NOS in the same area and in other areas related to defense mechanisms, suggesting that NO may participate in these defensive responses. We have also shown that anticipatory anxiety can lead to a decreased secretion of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in young, healthy male subjects.

Why Were Afraid: Understanding Fears

20 Differences between Anxiety and Depression ! You must ...

Fears are a natural part of the human make-up, which is protective of life and limb. Fear is a quality that is shared by all higher animals, as no members of any species would ever survive without a protective mechanism to anticipate and react to danger, thereby protecting themselves from harm.

The brain contains specific circuits and mechanisms for perceiving and reacting to fear. The response to fear can depend upon the situation and is divided into two broad categories:

  • Fight, flight, or freeze
  • Tend and befriend: turning to others for safety, and changing the situation so that it is less dangerous

Fears and phobias are not the same. Fears are a normal, protective part of our make-up. Phobias are not.

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How To Overcome Fear And Anxiety

According to the American Psychiatric Association , anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention.

Anxiety fear differs from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness. Anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness and affects nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.

However, anxiety disorder as a mental health condition is treatable and a number of effective treatments are available.

Treatment strategies like, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy , is very effective for people with anxiety disorder, including Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which takes you through a series of self-help exercises on screen.

Here are some ways you can help yourself:

Now What Causes Phobia Fear And Anxiety

Phobia can come at a specific time, maybe at childhood, adulthood, and sometimes in aging.

Research has suggested that phobias could be linked to genetics, brain chemistry, and even gender, apparently, women are more likely than men to suffer from phobias.

On the other hand, there is no specific time for confronting fear.

It can be caused during an experience, during confronting anything.

There is no specific time for receiving fear.

Whereas anxiety is triggered by the following things or situations:

First day of your school or at any new place

Death of your loved one

Work pressure or stress

Going for a job interview

Financial problems

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Stranger Social And Intergroup Anxiety

Humans generally require social acceptance and thus sometimes dread the disapproval of others. Apprehension of being judged by others may cause anxiety in social environments.

Anxiety during social interactions, particularly between strangers, is common among young people. It may persist into adulthood and become social anxiety or social phobia. “Stranger anxiety” in small children is not considered a phobia. In adults, an excessive fear of other people is not a developmentally common stage it is called social anxiety. According to Cutting, social phobics do not fear the crowd but the fact that they may be judged negatively.

Social anxiety varies in degree and severity. For some people, it is characterized by experiencing discomfort or awkwardness during physical social contact , while in other cases it can lead to a fear of interacting with unfamiliar people altogether. Those suffering from this condition may restrict their lifestyles to accommodate the anxiety, minimizing social interaction whenever possible. Social anxiety also forms a core aspect of certain personality disorders, including avoidant personality disorder.

Medical Treatment For Fear And Anxiety

What’s the difference between fear and anxiety?

If the options above dont cause any improvement, you may try getting help from the following.

  • Talking therapies, such as counseling
  • Medication
  • Search for support groups

Besides that, try opening up with your family. It is normal to feel fear and anxiety. It would be best for you to accept that. You can also call someone you feel comfortable opening yourself up to.

Final Thoughts

Fear? Anxiety? We can learn how to control these two conditions. We only need the best support system, such as our family members. So, stand up and live your life freely.


The Difference Between Fear and Anxiety, Sheryl Ankrom, MS, LCPC, Reviewed byAmy Morin, LCSW, Updated on July 08, 2020,

How to overcome fear and anxiety,, Accessed July 14, 2021,

What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?,, Accessed July 14, 2021,

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The Difference Between Fear And Anxiety In Dogs

Fear and anxiety are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are actually words that have a different meaning when it comes to dogs and people is general. While both can generate similar physiological responses, a closer look reveals that the dynamics are a tad bit different and may occur in different contexts. For example, Bella is a 5-year old Weimaraner that, the moment she notices her owner is putting on her shoes, she starts pacing and whining because she predicts her owner may be leaving soon. Today’s trivia question therefore concerns the main differences between fear and anxiety, so the question is:

Is Bella, in the exact circumstance described above, likely showing signs of fear or anxiety, or perhaps, neither of them?

A Fear

The Correct Answer is: Drum roll please….

The correct answer is B, anxiety.

Anxiety in Dogs

Anxiety in dogs and people takes place in anticipation of a future event. Have you ever found yourself unable to sleep at the idea of a job interview or, if you dread flying, the thought of a future flight?

Well, dogs can feel this way too, only their anxiety may develop closer in time with the event, once they detect stimuli suggesting what’s coming next.

Perhaps the most classical example of this is observed in dogs suffering from separation anxiety. These dogs are often hypervigilant and readily recognize subtle pre-departure cues before the owner even actually leaves the house.

What’s The Function of Anxiety?

The Extended Amygdala And Anxiety

Although the amygdala is clearly involved in conditioned fear, its role in anxiety is less evident, because it is often difficult to specify the stimuli that triggers anxiety.,

Thus, lesions of the rat amygdala that suppressed fearelicited startle or freezing behavior did not affect measures of anxiety in the elevated plus-maze and shock-probe-burying tests, two classic tests of anxiety for rodents. Moreover, diazepam was effective in these tests, even in amygdala-lesioned rats, suggesting that the anxiolytic effects of benzodiazepines are not necessarily mediated by the amygdala. Recent studies in primates also suggest that the amygdala is involved in mediating some acute unconditioned fear responses in rhesus monkeys, but that it is unlikely to be a key structure regarding the dispositional behavioral and physiological characteristics of the anxious temperament.

The BNST is considered to be part of the extended amygdala. It appears to be a center for the integration of information originating from the amygdala and the hippocampus , and is clearly involved in the modulation of the neuroendocrine stress response.,

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What Is The Difference Between Fear And Anxiety Unlocked

There is a difference between fear and anxiety. Some of us mistook these two words as having the same meaning, but indeed, they are not. These conditions may occur together, but we can never interchange them. An excellent example that we can have is dental surgery. We can become anxious about how the surgery will go, and we can fear the dentist at the same time. Anxiety focuses on unknown threats, while fear focuses on a known external danger. Lets keep moving and get some more details about fear and anxiety.

Face Your Fear If You Can

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If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do. You wont be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety. Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.

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How To Master Anxiety Without Medication

If youre struggling with anxietyor fear or panicits time to master it.

Yall know I love some good concrete coping skills. I live for that stuff.

Theres absolutely nothing wrong with taking medication for mental health, and a lot of research tells us that medications + therapy gives us the best results.

If youre interested in medication, check out my article giving you all the details on anxiety medications.

But if medication isnt your thing, next week, Ive got 9 of my personal favorite ways to manage anxiety without medication. Dont miss it.

Talk to you soon,

Dr. Finch

P.S. Remember, this is education, not treatment. Always consult with a psychologist or therapist about your mental health to determine what information and interventions are best for you. See the disclaimer for more details.

Hayden C. Finch, PhD, is a practicing psychologist in Des Moines, Iowa, dedicated to helping you master your mental health.

What Is The Difference Between Anxiety And Fear

Anxiety and fear involve the same physical reaction . The difference lies in the cause of the activation. Is it a present danger or is it an imagined threat about the future? In either case, the body and the brain are stressed. I think you can see how it is easier to relax when a physically present danger is no longer present versus a situation where the threat is basically in our mind. Unfortunately the body and the brain do not distinguish between a real and present threat versus one that is only in our mind at present. In either case, a stress response occurs.

So, to answer the question- anxiety is a physical stress reaction caused by our mental reaction to events in our lives. Possible ways to evaluate and treat/manage stress can be found at Anxiety treatment at Sadar Psychological and Sports Center.

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