Feeling overwhelmed? Learn more about stress vs anxiety, and what you can do to cope.
Is it stress or anxiety?
Life can be stressful—you may feel stressed about performance at work, school, traumatic events (such as a pandemic, a natural disaster, or an act of violence), or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body's reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesn’t go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression.
Read more about anxiety disorders.
Services & Resources
Notice: This website does not provide mental health diagnosis nor treatment. If you are in crisis, call 911 or the emergency hotlines above. For ongoing mental health care, contact a therapist or make an appointment with a clinical psychiatrist.