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Agitation vs. Disturbance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 2, 2023
Agitation is a state of nervous excitement or anxiety, while disturbance is an interruption of peace or order.

Key Differences

Agitation refers to a state of nervousness or unrest, often marked by emotional turmoil, while disturbance is an act of disrupting tranquility or normality.
Agitation can manifest as psychological unease or physical restlessness, whereas disturbance often refers to an external disruption or interruption.
In agitation, the focus is on the internal emotional or mental state of an individual, whereas disturbance is about the impact on the external environment or situation.
Agitation is usually a response to stress or anxiety, while disturbance can be caused by various factors like noise, interference, or conflict.
Agitation often leads to visible signs of discomfort or unease, while disturbance is characterized by the breaking of peace, calm, or order.

Comparison Chart


Emotional or psychological state.
Interruption or disruption of peace/order.


Internal unrest, nervousness.
External interruption or disruption.

Common Causes

Stress, anxiety, emotional triggers.
Noise, conflict, environmental changes.


On individual's internal state.
On the external environment or situation.


Psychological discomfort or physical restlessness.
Breaking of peace, disturbance of normality.

Agitation and Disturbance Definitions


It refers to the act of moving or stirring things up.
The agitation of the crowd grew as the speaker delayed.


Disturbance is the act of disturbing or the state of being disturbed.
The loud noise was a major disturbance during the exam.


Agitation is a state of nervous excitement or anxiety.
The thought of public speaking filled him with agitation.


Disturbance is an emotional or mental unrest.
The disturbing news caused a lot of disturbance in her mind.


It can mean persistent urging of a political or social cause.
His agitation for political reform was inspiring.


It can indicate a public commotion or disorder.
The police were called to handle the disturbance at the rally.


Agitation is the arousal of public concern about an issue.
Environmental issues caused considerable agitation among the youth.


It refers to an interruption of a settled state or condition.
The sudden storm caused a disturbance in the calm sea.


Agitation is the act of disturbing or exciting emotionally.
The alarming news caused great agitation in the community.


Disturbance means a disruption of normal activities.
There was a disturbance in the streets after the game.


The act of agitating or the state of being agitated.


The act of disturbing
A disturbance of lake sediments.


What triggers agitation?

Stress, anxiety, or emotional turmoil often trigger agitation.

Can disturbance be positive?

Rarely, as it typically implies a negative interruption or disruption.

Is agitation always visible?

Not always; it can be internal and not visibly apparent.

How does agitation affect health?

Prolonged agitation can lead to stress-related health issues.

What are common sources of disturbance?

Noise, conflict, or any disruptive event can be a source.

Are disturbances always caused by external factors?

Mostly, but internal factors can also lead to disturbances.

How is a disturbance handled in public places?

Through law enforcement or institutional protocols.

How to manage agitation in stressful situations?

Through relaxation techniques and stress management strategies.

Does agitation decrease with age?

It varies, depending on individual health and circumstances.

Can regular exercise help in reducing agitation?

Yes, regular physical activity can help manage agitation.

Can a person cause a disturbance intentionally?

Yes, disturbances can be caused intentionally or accidentally.

Can meditation reduce agitation?

Yes, meditation can help calm the mind and reduce agitation.

Is noise pollution a type of disturbance?

Yes, it's a common form of environmental disturbance.

What legal actions can follow a public disturbance?

It can lead to fines, arrests, or legal proceedings.

Is agitation a symptom of mental disorders?

It can be a symptom of certain mental health conditions.

Can agitation lead to aggressive behavior?

In some cases, it can escalate to aggressive responses.

How does a disturbance affect community life?

It can disrupt normalcy and cause collective stress.

Is a disturbance always loud?

Not necessarily; it can also be a silent but disruptive presence.

Can a disturbance be a minor inconvenience?

Yes, disturbances can range from minor to major.

Are children more prone to agitation?

They can be, especially in unfamiliar or stressful situations.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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