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  • Writer's pictureDayna Sharp, LCSW

The Difference Between Anxiety and Trauma, In Quotes

In the recent past, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder fell under the category of Anxiety Disorders, but with the latest edition of the DSM (the Diagnostic Manual compiled by the American Psychiatric Association), this is no longer so. Trauma and Anxiety are seen as two separate experiences. But anyone who struggles with the effects of trauma knows that Anxiety is often a part of it. So what's the difference?

"I am and old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened" --attributed to Mark Twain

This is Anxiety. It is tension, worries, fears about things that may or may not happen in the future. Anxiety is a kind of haunting about things that could go wrong--again, in the future.

"The thing you fear most has already happened"--Therapist in the novel "A Shining Affliction"

This is the aftermath of trauma. You might experience tension, worry, fear about something that happened in the past. You may also experience fears that what happened in the past, or something like it, will happen again in the future.

Anxiety Trauma Recovery
Anxiety is about the Future; Trauma is About the Past AND the Future


The good news is that because Anxiety is about the future and trauma is about the past, there's one safe place to be--and that's the present! Right now, in this moment, whatever the Anxiety is whispering to you isn't happening. Right now, in this moment, the trauma of your past isn't happening, nor is anything like it happening again, in this moment.

Often, the thing that makes right now most uncomfortable is the sensation of the Anxiety and Fear. Working with a therapist can help you to better understand the experiences of Anxiety and Trauma and ultimately, help you to create present moments that feel safe and more comfortable in your mind and body.

Call Creating Space Counseling and Wellness today to schedule an appointment!



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