Kate Campbell, PhD, LMFT
What Causes Anxiety?
Want to know more about what causes anxiety? Then read on... It's completely normal to feel anxious or worried when facing a deadline, presentation, or challenging situation at home. But when your worries are preventing you from living your life as you’d like to, you may be suffering from anxiety.
You should know, you’re not alone. The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) says that over 40 million people in the U.S. over the age of 18 suffer from some anxiety-related disorder, and those are just the people who have been diagnosed, or whose symptoms fit into a pre-described condition. Millions more go undiagnosed. There are numerous types of anxiety disorders and just as many effective, tangible treatments and strategies you can seek for help. Understanding the anxiety and getting the help you need can reduce your symptoms and make strides to regaining control of your life.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger. It’s an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened, under pressure, or is facing a stressful situation. Anxiety begins with an internal movement, that can more often than not have external tells: sweaty palms, tight, quick breaths, flushed cheeks. We all experiencing anxiety, but when it becomes a painful, constant state of overwhelming control, we may have crossed the line and are trekking through the territory of anxiety disorders.
Several parts of the brain are key factors in the production of fear and anxiety. Using brain imaging technology, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders. The amygdala is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals, ultimately altering the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories, stored in your brain, to assist with the fight or flight, but when we’re anxious, it’s a constant state of fight and flight, ramping up your anxiety and symptoms.
Once you recognize these symptoms and feel ready to seek help, there are different therapeutic approaches you can incorporate and rely on to manage your anxiety. Anxiety responds very well to see a professional therapist. And working through cognitive-behavior therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, or even exposure therapy can facilitate your healing process. Your thoughts will be confronted and ultimately reframed, your actions will then follow and your behavior will catch up, allowing you to live a life that is exactly how you’d like it to be.
You may never fully get rid of anxiety, because it can, in moderation, motivate you to accomplish deadlines and work through nervous presentations, but therapy can empower you to take control and live a life without crippling worry.
If you struggle with anxiety and want to learn more effective ways to cope, call Dr. Kate Campbell, LMFT to discuss setting up a session at 954-391-5305. You’ll learn specific techniques to help you self-soothe, reduce anxiety, and better manage stress. Dr. Kate provides anxiety therapy and anxiety treatment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for adults and their loved ones.