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Stress vs. anxiety


Barbarannamated
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This is a topic that I've wanted to discuss for some time. I've often said that I did not suffer from anxiety, which this information reinforces. I did, however, have several well-defined STRESSORS, some of them POSITIVE life events, at the time I was put on Zoloft. My career was going very well and I was being called on for special projects and presentations across the country. Even though they were "honors" based on performance, they were STRESSFUL due to travel and having to make presentations to groups and media. Some were extremely intense situations. The stress ended when the event was over.

 

I considered stress "the cost of doing business". It was fatigue during this time that was treated as "depression".

 

I never thought of this situational stress as an anxiety disorder even though anxiety was certainly a temporary symptom of the situation.

 

These articles address the blurring of the definitions of acute stress, chronic stress and anxiety.

 

ANXIETY vs. STRESS: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE

Cara Santa Maria

Huffington Post

December 15, 2011

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2011/12/15/anxiety-stress-difference_n_1152590.html

 

Acute and chronic stress aren't diagnosable mental illnesses,but anxiety disorders are. So what's the difference? To me,this line is a bit fuzzy. It all comes down to what's happening in the brain,and how that affects an individual's ability to cope.

 

With t recent pushes toward the medical model in modern psychiatry,I wonder if the lines between the terms "stress," "fear," and "anxiety" will continue to blur. The conventional wisdom is that unchecked acute stress may aggregate to become chronic stress,and that chronic stress underpins diagnosable anxiety in a large percentage of the population. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in America,affecting around 18 percent of the U.S. population in any given year,and almost 30 percent of American adults across the lifespan. But in a world where everyday stress is a fact of life,in a body that is not equipped to deal with its cumulative effects,this doesn't really surprise me. What do you think?

 

 

The brain experiences stress and anxiety in slightly different ways,although they do share some of the same real estate. Anxiety is more akin to fear. An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when that fear is significant enough to interfere with daily functioning,or if it seems to develop without cause.

 

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ANXIETY vs STRESS

Jae Ireland

LIVESTRONG

May 8, 2010

 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/119057-anxiety-vs.-stress/

 

Stress and anxiety are two conditions that are often used interchangeably, but are in fact very different from one another. If you feel as though you have a mentally taxing condition and are looking for the correct way to describe it to your health care provider, knowing the difference between stress and anxiety can help you correctly represent your feelings so you can get the right treatment for your condition.

 

SIMILARITIES

Stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably to describe symptoms because som

S of the symptoms for both conditions are fairly similar. Both can give you an anxious, upset feeng. Often, stress is the precursor to anxiety. Both can make you feel harried worried. Both are healthy reactions in small doses, but in large doses both stress and anxiety can alter your physical health, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). But that is where the similarities end.

 

STRESS

Stress is the normal physical response that you have to different, demanding stimuli, reports HelpGuide.org. Stress is your body's response system to help protect you. It causes the release of adrenaline, which allows you to make snap decisions, meet challenges and give you extra alertness. Unfortunately some individuals feel chronic stress, which can take a toll on your cardiovascular system and even cause some symptoms of depression. A sense of control and a more positive attitude can help you rein in your stress symptoms and relax.

 

ANXIETY

Anxiety can sometimes be caused by stress, but it is a different type of condition altogether. Anxiety can be compared more closely with fear than stress. When you feel anxiety about something, you engage in a physical response to stimuli that makes you feel afraid or as though you can't face something. Some individuals don't know why they feel anxiety, or suffer from anxiety disorders that greatly disrupt their lives. Phobias and anxiety typically make it difficult to live a normal life, according to the U.S. NationaLibrary of Medicine.

 

DISORDERS

Both stress and anxiety can cause certain me7ntal disorders that disrupt your life. Generalized anxiety disorder is when you feel anxiety without a known cause. Specific anxiety disorder means your fear a specific type of situation, such as social situations or being alone. Phobias are a specific fear of something, someone or a situation, and obsessive compulsive disorder may be derived from the obsessive need to control something, borne of stress and anxiety, the UMMC reports.

 

TREATMENT

A variety of treatments exist for you to deal with stress or anxiety. When it comes to stress, the treatments are usually lifestyle changes, such as taking up a hobby, learning relaxation techniques and meditation. Since anxiety is ultimately a more serious condition, therapy and treatment are more effective in pinpointing your anxiety and finding ways to deal with your fears.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thanks Barbannamated,

 

I really appreciate all the info you give us. I have really appreciated reading your story. You are one truely amazing woman.

 

Health and healing will be yours soon I hope Caro :rolleyes:

1995 Post Natal Dep - Zoloft ?dose (as well as 5mg valium and sleeping tablet) Quit after a couple of months.

1998 PND - Effexor-xr 150mg. Tried reducing but failed due to heightened anxiety. Quit cold turkey when pregnant with 3rd child.

2003 PND again on Effexor-xr 150mg. Numerous times tried to wean.

2006 75mg.

2010 Weaned off too fast as per dr recom 75mg every 2nd day etc. was Effexor-xr free for 3 months. Reinstated 75mg

1/6/12 = 72 mg

2/7/12 = 69 mg

16/7/12 = 67.5 mg

1/8/12 = 60 mg

19/8;12 = 52.5 mg

4/9/12 = 45mg

2/10/12 = 37.5 mg

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Everything is called "anxiety," if not "depression." These words don't have any meaning any more.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Everything is called "anxiety," if not "depression." These words don't have any meaning any more.

 

Exactly, Alto! In the last year of reading everyone's reasons for beginning antidepressants, Ive thought about this distinction being blurred. It goes hand-in-hand with pathologizing of natural human emotions and reactions such as grief. How many among us were drugged after losing a loved one and feeling SAD?!

 

The core emotion or stressor becomes buried under a general blanket of "anxiety" or "depression". We have strayed from identifying the core feeling (undiagnosable such as "stress" or "grief") and into the pool of lifetime diagnoses and treatment.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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