The mental condition in which a person feels dread and fear excessively and irrationally is known as Anxiety. it appears in various forms such as obsessive compulsive conduct, phobia of specific things, panic attack and state of constant worry. Feeling anxious to a certain degree is normal for people when they face ant challenge. But, anxiety is considered a problem when its symptoms interfere with the person’s ability to function properly in everyday-life or sleep. Steps for the treatment of the condition can be taken only when the sufferer understands the cause of anxiety. Sometimes, issues related to the brain can be the cause of anxiety too.
Neurotransmitters are brain-chemicals that transmit messages from one brain cell to another in order to regulate feelings and thoughts in people. Anxiety may be caused by the breakdown of the network of communication inside the brain due to abnormal level of neurotransmitters in the human-brain. According to the explanation provided by The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the degree of anxiety that a person experiences is influenced by 3 different kinds of neurotransmitters – Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), norepinephrine and serotonin. Serotonin regulates pain, body-temperature, appetite, sleep, impulses, aggression and mood. People may experience anxiety when they have low level of serotonin. Norepinephirne affects blood-pressure, mood, sleep and the response of the body in flight-or-fight situations. People can experience anxiety when the level of norepinephrine in their brain is imbalanced. GABA is helpful towards prevention against over-excitement. It helps people relax and sleeping. People become vulnerable to anxiety when the level GABA is not sufficiently high to perform its functions.
Anxiety is also caused by the changes that occur in the activity of the brain, according to the CAMH. Abnormalities in the metabolism and in the flow of blood are some of the examples of the changes that the centre referred to. Change in the manner of interaction between neurotransmitters in different regions of the brain is also an example of the change mentioned in the report generated by the centre.
Anxiety can be caused by the issues with the structure of the brain of a person, according to the report released by the CAMH. When a person is struck by anxiety-attack, several significant parts of the brain of that person get affected by it. Amygdala is one of those critical parts of a human-brain. The function of amygdale is to co-ordinate the body as it responds to a scenario that involves fear. Another critical region in the human-brain that gets affected is cerebral cortex, which is the part that evaluates the data that is receives about any threat and subsequently makes judgement to deal with it. Hippocampus is another area of the brain that gets affected due to anxiety. It plays a significant role in processing long-term memory and emotion. Locus Ceruleus is a brainstem-part that responds to anxiety and also helps in determination of brain-stimuli that are worthy of attention. It gets affected too. Increase in activity of these brain-parts cause anxiety to grow.
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