We all need anxiety. Anxiety is what helps keep us safe in the world. It helps to protect us from danger and allows us to react faster to emergencies.
The amygdala is part of brain that is best known for its role in fear processing. When we are exposed to a fearful stimulus, information about that stimulus is immediately sent to the amygdala, which can then send signals to areas of the brain like the hypothalamus to trigger a "fight-of-flight-response". When our amygdala is activated we experience physiological symptoms, such as, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness and psychological symptoms, such as, fear, anger, anxiety, and aggression.
Due to a variety of reasons, the amygdala can become overactive or overstimulated, leaving a person feeling fearful and often searching for perceived threats in their environment. The brain does not want you to be uncomfortable so it will find ways to relieve the discomfort but sometimes this means this leads to unhelpful coping patterns like excessive worry and avoidance that keeps the person in the anxiety loop.
Anxiety can be caused by a variety of different things.
Life events that can cause anxiety:
- Stress at work
- Stress from school
- Stress in a personal relationship such as marriage
- Financial stress
- Stress from global occurrences or political issues
- Stress from unpredictable or uncertain world events, like a pandemic
- Stress from an emotional trauma such as the death of a loved one
- Stress from a serious medical illness
Common causes of anxiety include these disorders:
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Phobic disorders
- Stress disorders
I use evidenced based methods, such as, CBT, EMDR, and ERP that have been shown to be effective for treating anxiety. I will also help you with developing coping mechanisms to deal with daily life’s stressors.