Every life includes moments of nervousness and anxiety, but are they the same thing? What is the difference between nerves vs anxiety? Can a small amount of either be normal and, if so, when does it cross the line to becoming a problem? New View Wellness offers comprehensive outpatient mental health treatment that helps people overcome anxiety disorders. Our different levels of care include highly effective therapy sessions and access to prescription medications. We help people learn to manage their anxiety and move forward in life with confidence.

What is Nervousness?

To understand the difference between nerves vs anxiety, it’s important to understand how each feeling is defined. Nervousness is an emotion and temporary. It is related to something specific, like a job interview, meeting someone new, taking a test, or waiting for medical test results. Everyone gets nervous from time to time, and it does not mean they have anxiety or a full-blown mental health disorder. The reason for feeling nervous can be pinpointed, and the feeling ends at a predictable time. For example, a person in line for a roller coaster may feel nervous. Once the ride is over, their emotions return to feeling calm. 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety happens to everyone from time to time. It becomes a problem when being in a state of anxiousness becomes a person’s regular setting. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:

  • Having panic attacks
  • Never or rarely feeling completely calm
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shakiness
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling faint
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Worrying about current situations
  • Feeling anxiety about future events
  • Mood swings
  • Using alcohol or drugs to deal with anxiety
  • Isolating and avoiding certain activities or social situations
  • Physical ailments with no explanation, including nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and body aches

The Difference Between Nerves vs Anxiety

Let’s look at an example of the difference between nerves vs anxiety. Someone who has an interview for a job they really want will likely feel some nerves before and during the interviewing process. Once they complete it, they feel themselves relax. That is an example of nerves at work. Someone who has chronic anxiety will likely be anxious before, during, and after the interview. In fact, their anxiety will likely impact many of their daily work assignments even after they begin the job. 

In short, nerves have an obvious trigger and resolve themselves in a reasonable amount of time. Someone with an anxiety disorder experiences anxiousness constantly for months or years at a time. Sometimes they know exactly what triggered their anxiety, while other times it seems to come out of nowhere. In either case, it doesn’t have a predictable ending. 

Another difference is that feeling nervous doesn’t usually stop a person from doing what they need to do. Most times, people can power through their nervousness and still accomplish their goals. Anxiety often becomes so overwhelming that the individual either can’t complete the task that causes it or feels too scared to even attempt it. To continue the example, the person with a job interview can power through their nerves and complete their meeting. Someone with overwhelming anxiety may cancel the interview, abandon it mid-appointment, or never schedule the interview at all.

What is Treatment for Anxiety Like?

When a person’s anxiety is severe, they may initially require anxiety treatment. Other people can benefit from attending outpatient treatment, which allows them to live in their homes and travel to a facility for therapy sessions. Several types of therapy prove helpful in teaching a person to reduce their symptoms of anxiety and feel more in control. Each one is led by a trained and skilled mental health counselor who knows how to partner with people and help them improve their mental health. Common therapy modalities used in the treatment for anxiety include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Genetic testing

Each person will receive a full assessment when they begin treatment so they can be matched with the right types of therapy that will meet their needs.

Another common approach to treating anxiety is using FDA-approved medications. They can help minimize and even eliminate some of the symptoms of anxiety, which not only makes people feel better but makes it easier to focus on their treatment therapies. Common prescription medications for anxiety include benzodiazepines, buspirone, antidepressants, and MAOIs.

Begin Anxiety Treatment in Atlanta Today

Have you gotten tired of living with constant levels of anxiety and want to find the right treatment program for you? All treatment centers are not created equal because they don’t all understand exactly how to care for someone who has an anxiety disorder. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides several options for different levels of outpatient care including PHP in Atlanta and Intensive Outpatient Programming. We know the difference between nerves vs anxiety and help people overcome the challenges of living with an anxiety disorder. Our staff of highly experienced therapists works with you to help you develop healthy coping skills and see life differently.

Contact us today to find out more information. Life without constant anxiety is possible for anyone, and we can show you the way.