Do You Suffer From Anxiety?

Stomach acid, racing heart, and you lay there worrying about something that you fear will happen in the future. Perhaps you keep saying “What if………”, to yourself about a number of possible negative situations.

The word “anxiety” is derived from the Latin word “anxietas”, which means agitated distress. There are some medical illnesses that can cause a person to suffer from undue distress. Just a few of these physical causes are: the fluctuating female hormones, thyroid disease, and adrenal gland dysfunctions. Caffeine from coffee, soda, and tea is one of the most common causes of anxiety.

Everyone, believe it or not, experiences anxiety. Just as a smoke detector warns of impending fire, anxiety acts as our alarm warning us of impending danger. This is called the flight or flight response. It is at this moment that the higher brain sends out a danger message to the limbic system, which then sends out a chemical message through the pituitary gland or by way of the sympathetic nervous system. This is when your heart begins to beat quickly, your blood pressure increases, respiration changes, and your body is ready to take action to help you survive.

This is both normal and adaptive, but two basic problems can occur:
1. the biological mechanism can malfunction so that it is sensitive and sends out the “flight or fight” signal in situations that are only minor stressors, or
2. out of the blue it becomes activated for no apparent reason.

These reactions occur because the higher brain areas perceive danger when no danger exists, and it sends danger messages to the limbic system at inappropriate times.

Next post will explain the anxiety disorders.

No comments:

Post a Comment