Healthy and Unhealthy Anxiety
Doctor Daniel Pine explains that it can be normal and healthy to feel anxiety. Anxiety disorders, however, interfere with peopleâ€™s ability to function normally.
Well, so when we talk about many behaviors that can be both normal and abnormal, it is very important to differentiate those two different kinds of behaviors. We can talk about anxiety that is normal which means that it is a response to a certain kind of danger and we can talk about anxiety that is abnormal or part of what we call an anxiety disorder. The difference between anxiety that is normal and anxiety that is abnormal relates to the degree to which anxiety facilitates adaptive functioning or helps people to be healthy versus the degree to which anxiety is harmful or hinders their ability to develop and adapt to their environments. So, for example, letâ€™s think about a college student who has to take a test. Everybody would get a little anxious about a test and it is probably a good thing. The kid who is a little anxious might study a little bit more and might do better on the test and so that would be normal anxiety. However, some kids will get so anxious about the test that they cannot think about anything else. They cannot even get their minds straight enough to study for the test. So there, the anxiety might actually interfere with the kidâ€™s ability to perform on the test and that would be an example of an anxiety disorder because the anxiety is so extreme that it interferes with adaptation and interferes with coping. That is how we differentiate normal or healthy anxiety from abnormal anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders interfere with peopleâ€™s ability to adapt and their ability to function in ways that most other people can.
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Doctor Daniel Pine explains that although a lot of work remains to be done, noerpinephrine (noradrenalin) and serotonin are important to understanding the biochemistry of anxiety.
Doctor Daniel Pine defines anxiety as fear and apprehension about dangers that are not immediately present. Over time, anxiety can lead to depression.
Doctor Daniel Pine explains that hormones are a contributing factor to the development of anxiety and depression. They interact with a number of other factors to cause to these disorders.
Doctor Daniel Pine introduces the diathesis-stress model for anxiety and depression. The model posits that stress combines with inherited factors to produce disorder.
Doctor Daniel Pine estimates that approximately 30-50% of the risk for anxiety and depression is genetic. Genetic treatments are an exciting area of research currently.
Doctor Daniel Pine explains that the environment is particularly important to determining how we understand, treat, and respond to anxiety.
Doctor Daniel Pine discusses explains that anxiety is more common in girls and women. Depression is also more common in women, but only after puberty. Anxiety may predict depression.
Doctor Daniel Pine introduces the fight-or-flight response, which is a common mechanism in mammals in response to a threat. It prepares the body to either run away or fight the threat.
Doctor Daniel Pine explains that in rodents, humans, and other primates, the amygdala mediates the stress response. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is also important.
Doctor Daniel Pine explains that the amygdala is involved in learning to respond to a fearful experience fear-learning. There is evidence that the same response can lead to PTSD.