Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Anxiety and Nervousness

Anxiety Vs Nervousness

Anxiety and nervousness are not the only words being used interchangeably. Fear and worry often get tagged along to mean any psychological or physical uneasiness experienced by an individual.

Anxiety is derived from the word ‘Angst’ meaning pain or anguish. It is more connoted to a higher degree of uneasiness compared to nervousness. This is exactly the reason why people have come to develop many anxiety disorders and not nervousness disorders. Although the mildest form of anxiety can have positive effects to one’s life, the more intense forms can have serious and debilitating, not to mention, long lasting effects like in the condition generalized anxiety disorder. In this regard, anxiety can last for several days while some can reach as much as a month or a year.

In anxiety, there is a threat that is perceived to be more than what it actually is (in reality). This is one of the key characteristics of anxiety wherein the threat is often seen to be irrational or unreasonable.

Nervousness is the noun form of being nervous (the feeling of becoming highly or unnaturally excited). It is generally perceived as a more natural response to stressful situations. It is also described as milder than anxiety because it subsides faster compared to other forms of anxiety especially the severe ones. As soon as the person has adapted to the situation and got the feel of the stress on hand, he can immediately resolve it and will no longer become nervous.

With regard to the symptoms, most sufferers of anxiety will end up having a poorer performance at school or at work. They will most likely fail in relationships and will try to isolate themselves. Because they experience unreasonable dread even when being placed close to other people (like in social phobia). They will also try to escape or avoid social events (gatherings). Often, people who are anxious not only experience psychological symptoms but also physical manifestations like trembling, excessive perspiration, feeling nauseated and even pain.

The symptoms in nervousness, although still upsetting, are mostly temporary in nature. These symptoms last for a shorter amount of time (in a matter of minutes) unlike those seen in higher grade anxiety. Some of the most common ones are dryness of the mouth, temporary mental confusion, trouble in memory recall, fidgeting and initial increase in heart rate.

1. Symptoms of nervousness generally last for a shorter time only unlike anxiety.

2. Anxiety is perceived as a more severe state (often connoted to a mental condition) that has an intense set of mental and physical symptoms. Nervousness is a more natural feeling that has simpler physical symptoms.


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1 Comment

  1. This is a great description of the modern connotations of anxiety and nervousness outside of the strict definitions.

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