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Fear and Anxiety - what's the difference?
Topic Started: Feb 27 2011, 04:34 PM (1,017 Views)
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FEAR

Extract From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear

Fear is an emotional response to threats and danger. Fear should be distinguished from anxiety, which typically occurs without any external threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.

Fear is often connected to pain (e.g. some fear heights because if they fall, they may suffer severe injury or even die upon landing). Many theorists, such as Watson and Ekman, have suggested that fear is one of several basic, innate emotions (e.g. joy and anger). Fear is a survival mechanism, and usually occurs in response to a specific negative stimulus.

Serious fear is a response to some formidable impending peril, while trifling fear arises from confrontation with inconsequential danger.

Fear can be described by different terms in accordance with its relative degrees. Personal fear varies extremely in degree from mild caution to extreme phobia and paranoia. Fear is related to a number of emotional states including worry, anxiety, terror, fright, paranoia, horror, panic (social and personal), persecution complex and dread.

Fears may be a factor within a larger social network, wherein personal fears are synergetically compounded as mass hysteria.

Paranoia is a term used to describe a psychosis of fear, described as a heightened perception of being persecuted, false or otherwise. This degree of fear often indicates that one has changed their normal behavior in radical ways, and may have become extremely compulsive. Sometimes, the result of extreme paranoia is a phobia.
Distrust in the context of interpersonal fear, is sometimes explained as the inward feeling of caution, usually focused towards a person, representing an unwillingness to trust in someone else. Distrust is not a lack of faith or belief in someone, but a feeling of warning towards someone or something questionable or unknown. For example, one may "distrust" a stranger who acts in a way that is perceived as "odd." Likewise one may "distrust" the safety of a rusty old bridge across a 100 ft drop.
Terror refers to a pronounced state of fear - which usually occurs before the state of horror - when someone becomes overwhelmed with a sense of immediate danger. Also, it can be caused by perceiving the (possibly extreme) phobia. As a consequence, terror overwhelms the person to the point of making irrational choices and non-typical behavior.
Fear can also affect the subconscious and unconscious mind, most notably through nightmares.

Fear can also be imagined, and the side effects can also be imagined



ANXIETY

Extract From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety

Anxiety (also called solicitude) is a psychological and physiological state characterized by cognitive, somatic, emotional, and behavioral components[1]. These components combine to create the painful feelings that we typically recognize as anger, fear, apprehension, or worry. Anxiety is often accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headache. The cognitive component entails expectation of a diffuse and certain danger. Somatically the body prepares the organism to deal with threat (known as an emergency reaction): blood pressure and heart rate are increased, sweating is increased, bloodflow to the major muscle groups is increased, and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited (the 'fight or flight' response). Externally, somatic signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling, and pupillary dilation. Emotionally, anxiety causes a sense of dread or panic and physically causes nausea, diarrhea, and chills. Behaviorally, both voluntary and involuntary behaviors may arise directed at escaping or avoiding the source of anxiety and often maladaptive, being most extreme in anxiety disorders. However, anxiety is not always pathological or maladaptive: it is a common emotion along with fear, anger, sadness, and happiness, and it has a very important function in relation to survival.

Although panic attacks are not experienced by every anxiety sufferer, they are a common symptom. Panic attacks usually come without warning, and although the fear is generally irrational, the perceived danger is very real. A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or pass out.

Emotional symptoms of anxiety include a fear (such as a fear of an illness), or the need to avoid certain stressful situations or social situations due to fear of embarrassment. There may be considerable confusion and irritability when the anxiety is taking place. Physical symptoms include hot flashes, chest pain, sudden tiredness, headaches, shortness of breath, problems digesting and nausea.
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