Anxiety Stress - Stress From Anxiety...
Stress caused by anxiety, also known as anxiety stress, is so common in people suffering from anxiety that it often it becomes hard to tell a difference.
A lot of people ask me about the connection between the two. And I have also had several asking why they see no effect from the Benzodiazepine, Lyrica, Atarax or other therapeutic drug they are taking.
Sometimes drugs are prescribed for a known condition which then is relieved. But another condition may be "lurking in the shadows". In the case of anxiety stress; the anxiety we may have in our lives triggers a stress response - so what is experienced is not anxiety anymore. Read more about the difference between anxiety and stress here.
How Can I Know One From The Other?
We all have anxieties. Some feel it a lot and some do not feel it at all. You can read more about the anxiety symptoms here.
To actually suffer from anxiety it will have to have a significant (big) impact on your life. Like if you dropped out of high school because you were afraid of exams or if you stay at home because you are afraid of meeting new people or traffic.
There are a huge amount of phobias (anxieties) that have been recognized. My favorite is "friggatriskaidekaphobia" - fear of Friday the thirteenth ;)
... I would say that stress brought on by a fear of one day is not anxiety stress unless it is a real panic attack. But say you have had a traumatic event that occurred in a certain period, then that period could be a cause of stress due to anxiety.
Where the line is exactly, is hard to say. But if you feel anxiety but you have to face the frightening element on a regular basis then anxiety stress would be very real for you.
Say you have a fear of driving or traffic but you live in an area where daily commute in your own car is necessary. You cannot get around your fear and so the fear acts as a stressor.
Your fear can act as a stressor
To know what is stress related and what is anxiety related you will need to know what triggers your fear, when you know where your anxiety starts it will be easier to observe your stress, recognize it and realize that you don't have to be stressed.
How to Know Your Anxiety Stress?
The key to learning how anxiety causes stress to build is to look beyond the anxiety and look for the stress responses. You can learn more the effects of anxiety stress here.
A simple way is to ask yourself questions about your "condition"... If you have had anxiety treated by a doctor you may well have heard some of them before.
Has anything happened in the past year that could have aggregated (increased) your anxiety?
If you are positive that your condition has worsened then you should focus on the fear and not the potential stress it can cause. If you are not sure, proceed...
Does your anxiety come out of the blue or is it there for longer periods or sometimes constantly?
If your fear (anxiety) is sudden, then what you are experiencing is most likely the anxiety itself. My best advice is to talk to your doctor first and try and tackle stress after that. If you can feel your anxiety more, or you know when to expect it then ask
Does certain events, things or times make you feel the anxiety?
If you know this then you are both blessed and cursed. It should be clear by now that the knowledge of your anxiety (or stressor) and the expectation of it is what causes anxiety stress. But if you know what causes your fear and therefore your stress it becomes easier to act upon it and work around it to relieve the stress
To sum up:
The stress that you can feel from having anxiety (like a phobia) is stress because you know what it is, when it will come, and what will happen to you (physically, mentally, behaviorally). The expectation of the anxiety becomes the stress itself.