What Causes Anxiety In The Brain?
This question implies that the main problem of anxiety resides in the brain. However, this question is logical, this is only partially true.
To get a broader perspective of what causes anxiety, you’ll have to look at the brain, mind, and body together.
Most problems if not all problems need a holistic approach. This essentially means; look at all the facets of the problem, since the brain, mind, and body are internally connected.
As such we need to address it in a holistic approach.
And this is good news for you if you suffer from anxiety, panic, or depression. Because you can influence your mind and body with different tools and exercises.
Anyway, back to your question about what causes anxiety in the brain.
Let’s look at the different theories that are out there and further on this website you can look for solutions that might help you.
The theory of Chemical imbalance
In the last two decades, the wide-spread belief in a chemical imbalance in the brain was integrated into the scientific literature. And thus most psychiatrists acted from this belief.
From that research, they saw that there were different levels of neurotransmitters, which was associated with mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
These neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) act as different communication lines between the different parts of the brain.
However, this seems to be true. It doesn’t explain what caused the imbalance of the neurotransmitters.
But more on that later.
Other theories what causes anxiety in the brain
So, here they did a good job explaining the question that isn’t answered in the chemical imbalance theory. At least, for the most part.
The theories include causes like environment, upbringing, attachment issues, abusiveness, neglect, and other forms of trauma that impact a child or young adolescent.
And here we got a word that explains what the main cause is for anxiety in the brain. It’s called trauma.
Now, trauma can be quite hard to find if you’ll have to do it yourself. especially when you consider that trauma can be easily created in a toddler’s mind.
For example, If the toddler is two years old and is more sensitive than his or her peers, suddenly taken his fluffy bear away from him can have a major impact on the toddler.
Because for the toddler, the fluffy bear is his life. The bear comforted him, brought safety, and it was a friend to the toddler.
That’s why if you suddenly take it away it can cause trauma in the child, and the consequences are still felt to this present day.
If we consider these kinds of trauma as real and take notice of the traumas we already know and how they’ve been created. We understand now that most people got lots of trauma that need to be addressed.
These traumas are for the most part what causes anxiety, panic, or every other mental health problem.
The missing link to what causes anxiety, panic, and any other mental health problem.
As with both the theories it doesn’t really explain the biochemical connection that causes anxiety in the brain. Luckily, the therm inflammation is now much more used in relation to mental health conditions such as anxiety and panic.
Inflammation causes disruption into the different parts of the brain, which can enhance or create mental illness. Also, inflammation is just an equal risk factor when it comes to anxiety as the other two theories.
Remember? it’s the holistic approach. Everything is interconnected.
The inflammation damages vital aspects of the brain including the prefrontal cortex (where reasoning and impulse control take place), the hippocampus (a necessity for making new and maintaining old memories), and the amygdala (Good for recognizing the danger and involuntarily reacting to it).
As you can see. Inflammation can be very damaging on its own, without the traumas or environmental issues.
Still, inflammation in the brain is just one aspect of why anxiety is in the brain. Let’s talk about another missing link that will tie up all the different aspects of why there’s anxiety in the brain.
The other missing link; Trauma
Now, we know that environment, inflammation, and trauma play a big role that causes anxiety.
But what actually mean’s trauma in terms of thought processes? As you might know when you’re triggered and your trauma comes to the surface. The thought process is often dark and negative in nature.
This is because the underlying energy of the trauma needs to get out of your emotional and psychological system. So, in some way, it tries to get your attention so the emotion can get regulated.
Only the thing is, as long as we don’t do anything with this energy. The energy and thought processes stay active, destructive, and negative.
When you’re thinking these kinds of thoughts. it makes a lot of hormones that are poisonous to your body and brain.
It works like this; every time you have a thought there’s a chemical reaction in your brain. Especially the neurotransmitter called neuropeptide. The neuropeptide acts as a bridge between your body and your brain.
For example, when you think negative thoughts, neuropeptides are created and shot into the different parts of the body. This neurotransmitter comes to the adrenal glands and releases adrenaline and cortisol.
Now your body goes into the flight or fight reaction and you begin to feel anxious or fearful.
And when your brain gets the feedback from the different neurotransmitters it generates thoughts that match the levels of neuropeptides. Or in other words; you’re in a negative spiral where you seemingly can’t get out.
The thing is, the hormones that are produced through your negative thinking are in large quantity poisonous and damage the different parts of the body and brain.
Don’t freak out yet. Your body and brain are resilient. So, don’t worry too much. You want to avoid that anxiety loophole.
Anyway, with all this accumulative stress from the hormones, negative emotions, and negative thought processes, you’re bound to see an effect on the brain.
What do you think this effect actually is? Right. Inflammation in the brain. And to a lot of scientists today this is the main cause of many mental health problems.
Having said that. We need all three theories to provide proper solutions for people that suffer from panic attacks and anxiety.
Conclusion about what causes anxiety in the brain
As we can conclude now, anxiety in the brain is caused partially by a chemical imbalance, environmental problems, inflammation, and trauma. Also, the part of the brain (amygdala) that regulates fear can be damaged to different kinds of accumulated stress sources. This will result in less functioning of this part of the brain and hence you will experience more anxiety.
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Your friend and coach,