Are you Familiar with Strait and Trait Anxieties?

In the modern world we are all familiar with the idea of anxiety. Anxiety can be termed as that kind of mental unhappiness that results in physical and psychological discomfort. However there can two kinds of anxiety, strait and trait.

In people with psychiatric disorders, the state and trait anxiety concepts are more applicable than in normal individuals who have rare anxiety bouts. The phobia a person has classifies the types of state anxiety. People who do not fall under the categorization of strait and trait anxieties suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD.

strait and trait anxieties

Differences Between Strait and Trait Anxieties

There can be different manifestations of anxieties, like jittery feeling, increase in heart rate, and change in breathing pattern etc. However, there are two types of anxieties, Strait and Trait anxiety. Here are the details of these two:

Strait anxiety:

What? – This is that type of anxiety which means an unpleasant feeling related to an occurrence, demands or outcome of an incident. It is stemmed from a sort of perceived threat that someone feels. Therefore it is believed to be a temporary problem. When the situation changes, that is the person no longer feels threatened, then this kind of uneasiness goes away.

When? – It is basically a strait when one’s emotions are heightened because of some problem. This can lead to a sort of temporary paralysis which prohibits you from taking an action. For example you might forget a dance step while performing and freeze or become momentarily unable to perform a gymnastic routine. Sportsperson often face this situation where they might miss a shot at the goal.

How? – This happens due to increased pressure on them which is heightened by the fear of failure. For such cases, the person can be taught to use their mental power more effectively. For relaxation they can use systems such as hypnotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and other such things.

Trait Anxiety:

What? – Unlike strait anxiety, this is a situation which refers to a kind of stress which is unique to the individual, and not primarily related to a specific situation or outcome of the event. This varies from person to person and depends upon the mental makeup of each specific individual. Trait anxiety also differs in intensity. People who have problems with trait anxiety can experience strait anxiety too, and chances are that they will experience it in an increased level.

Why? – Most of the researches on this type of mental disorder generally focus on how experiences change the understanding or appraisal of incidents.  They show that the experience changes with person to person and thus trait anxiety, or its intensity also differ. Some of the researchers have insisted that these changes are based on the amount of neuroticism present in an individual. Various researches tend to blame genetic structures for the disorder. For example the COMT gene is implicated for mental disorder in a person. This gene creates a problem by heightening the anxiety level in a person.

Treatment – The treatment of this problem differs from the technique used in the case of Strait anxiety. In the case of the latter, situation specific treatments are used, while in the case of Trait anxiety, the treatment is a bit broad based.

Whatever the anxiety type is, if you are able to identify that you have a problem, the best way is to see a medical expert at the earliest.


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