The Environment and Anxiety

Doctor Daniel Pine explains that the environment is particularly important to determining how we understand, treat, and respond to anxiety.

The environment is particularly important in the anxiety disorder. That is exactly right. We are exposed to danger and threat all the time and we do know that experiences with danger frequently lead people to have problems with anxiety, so when we are confronted by extreme danger, people will get some kinds of anxiety like posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. When we are exposed to milder anxiety, so for example breakup with a girlfriend, or particularly stressful day at work, we will get other kinds of anxiety and there is a particularly tight relationship between being exposed to stress and developing the anxiety. That is very important both in terms of when we think about prevention. So we know that when we’re in a situation where we are exposed to stress, we should be thinking ‘Is this one of those situations where I could have problems?’ But then it also can be particularly important in terms of treatment. So, people need to think after they are exposed to a stressor, they should pay attention to how they are functioning and they should be on a lookout for signs that they might be having problems, because we think that if we can identify problems early and treat them before they become severe, we might have a better chance of helping people function better. So, for example, if we would treat kids with anxiety early and help them to overcome their anxiety, maybe we might reduce the chance that they will get depression later on in life.

environment, stress, anxiety, stressor, ptsd, depression, prevention, daniel, danny, pine

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