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Is Apprehension the Same as Anxiety?

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:30pm

by Susan

Is apprehension the same thing as anxiety?   According to one definition of apprehension in the Encarta Dictionary,  apprehension is dread...... a feeling of anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.   That sounds pretty much like what most of us feel when we suffer from anxiety.  Frequently we feel this sense of dread when faced with decisions both small and large.  

There is another definition in the Encarta Dictionary which says apprehension can also mean the power or ability to grasp the importance, significance, or meaning of something.  I'm paying special attention to the words "ability to grasp".  I believe our ability to grasp a things importance, whether it be an event, an object, a person, or an idea, is vital to our happiness and peace of mind.   Sometimes we must research or study certain subjects at length in order to inform ourselves, so that we have the "ability to grasp". 

So often when we are not informed or have not yet grasped a situation, we are unsure of ourselves and others.  We find it difficult to make decisions and we suffer from anxiety(apprehension) for fear we will make the wrong decision.   At times we may spend all our time trying to convince family members and others that we know what is correct.  Are we really trying to convince ourselves when we engage in this behavior? 

There is a huge weight lifted from our shoulders when we finally do grasp and understand what we are dealing with....and when we finally do make our decision.   I believe apprehension, the ability to grasp a situation, is the best way to relieve our apprehension(anxiety) when it comes to making decisions, whether that decision involves where to make a major purchase, who to vote for, what church to attend, or decisions about daily events in our lives.   The "ability to grasp" is something most of us can achieve with a little time and effort, thus engaging in a bit of self help.   The time and effort spent might just go a long way in relieving our anxiety. 

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