What Is A Panic Disorder
If you have a panic disorder, you get intense, sudden panic attacks. These attacks often feature stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders.
The feelings of terror may start suddenly and unexpectedly or they may come from a trigger, like facing a situation you dread. Panic attacks can resemble heart attacks. If theres any chance youre experiencing a heart attack, go to the emergency room. Its better to err on the side of caution and have a healthcare professional check you.
During a panic attack, you may experience:
- Chest pain.
- Feeling of choking, which can make you think youre having a heart attack or going crazy.
Panic attacks are very upsetting. People with panic disorder often spend a lot of time worrying about the next panic attack. They also try to avoid situations that might trigger an attack.
When Should I Go To The Emergency Room For An Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can resemble symptoms of a heart attack or another health emergency. If youre experiencing an anxiety attack for the first time, or youre concerned in any way about your health, call 911 or head to the nearest ER. A healthcare provider will check you for serious or life-threatening conditions.
If youre having an anxiety attack and unsure whether you should head to an ER or not, its better to go. Healthcare professionals can make sure youre OK and give you any necessary treatment.
Who Can Diagnose Anxiety Disorders
If your provider finds no signs of physical illness, they may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to figure out if you have an anxiety disorder. Typically, the provider bases a diagnosis on:
- Your reported symptoms, including how intense they are and how long they last.
- Discussion of how the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- The providers observation of your attitude and behavior.
Providers also consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The American Psychiatric Association publishes the DSM-5. Its the standard reference manual for diagnosing mental illnesses.
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Neuroendocrine And Neurotransmitter Signaling In Panic Disorder
Amino acid neurotransmitters
Decreased inhibitory signaling has been hypothesized to play an important pathophysiological role in PD. In drug-free patients who had PD, increased benzodiazepine binding in the temporal cortex and right lateral frontal gyrus but decreased binding in the left hippocampus, has been observed. In patients who have PD and comorbid MDD treated with antidepressant medications, benzodiazepine binding was decreased in the lateral temporal lobes, left medial inferior temporal lobe, and bilateral OFC. Binding in the insular cortex bilaterally was negatively correlated with panic severity and with comorbid depression.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has demonstrated decreased GABA concentrations in the occipital cortex, ACC, and basal ganglia in patients who have PD compared with control subjects. Although there is no evidence for differences in plasma or cerebrospinal fluid GABA concentrations in patients who have PD, low baseline CSF GABA concentrations did correlate with a poor therapeutic response to the triazolobenzodiazepine alprazolam or the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine. Interestingly, patients who have PD and who have a family history of mood and anxiety disorders exhibit decreased cortical GABA concentrations .
Corticotropin-releasing factor and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
Anatomical And Neuroimaging Findings In Social Anxiety Disorder
As with PD and PTSD, amygdala activation has been implicated in symptoms of SAD. Social-cue tasks, such as the viewing of harsh faces, were associated with hyperreactivity in the amygdala and other limbic areas in patients who had SAD. Similarly, in response to viewing negative affective faces, patients who have SAD exhibited bilateral amygdala activation, which positively correlated with symptom severity and which reversed upon successful treatment. In anticipation of public speaking, subcortical, limbic, and lateral paralimbic activity is increased in patients who have SAD, suggesting elevations in automatic emotional processing. Decreased activity in the ACC and PFC in these subjects suggests a decreased ability for cognitive processing .
The combined results of imaging analysis in subjects who have SAD suggest dysfunction of a cortico-striato-thalamic network: hyperactivity in the right PFC, striatal dysfunction, and increased hippocampal and amygdala activity with left lateralization. It has been suggested that hyperactivity in the frontolimbic system, including the ACC, which processes negative emotional information and anticipation of aversive stimuli, could result in misinterpretation of social cues .
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Where Does Anxiety Come From
When treating any form of anxiety disorder, it is important to determine where the anxiety is stemming from or what imbalances in the brain or body are fueling the anxiety. There are many risk factors when it comes to the odds of developing an anxiety disorder. These include:
- Learned behavior.;
It is in our opinion to approach anxiety from a top down approach. Whether anxiety is caused from environmental factors, a; functional neurological deficit, or a neurochemical imbalance, addressing anxiety from a neurological standpoint has been proven to be very beneficial. This may be done by assessing electrical activity within the cortex of the brain or assessing deeper structures that may be involved.
Is Anxiety Caused By A Chemical Imbalance In The Brain
No, anxiety is NOT caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Anxiety is caused by unhealthy behaviors: thinking and acting in unhealthy ways that cause anxiety to elevate above what is considered normal anxiety.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Those who develop anxiety disorder have learned to cope with adversity, uncertainty, and risk in unhealthy ways. Issues with anxiety can be overcome by learning to cope in healthy ways, rather than in overly apprehenvise ways.
With the right information and help, you, too, can overcome issues with anxiety. No one needs to suffer needlessly.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed which we call the underlying factors of anxiety a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
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If I Feel Nervous All The Time Is It Possible I Have A Chemical Imbalance
According to the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center headquartered in Rochester, MN, experiencing occasional anxiety is not uncommon. After all, such feelings are a byproduct of the mind and body reacting to dangerous, unfamiliar, or stressful situations, all of which can be either real or perceived. Some might even argue that a certain degree of anxiety is essential in that it enables us to stay alert and aware of our surroundings.
That said, severe anxiety, which is characterized by intense, excessive, and persistent worry, is another matter entirely. And these are the feelings that many individuals struggling with social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder, for example, experience regularly. To contextualize just how prevalent severe anxiety is in America, we need only take a look at a study published by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America . The study found that an estimated 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety so severe that they have to take prescription-based medication, undergo psychotherapy, or both.
What You Should Know About Neurotransmitters In The Brain
The neurotransmitters in the brain linked to mood and general well-being include dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. To get a better sense of how an imbalance in these particular brain chemicals impact mood and even mental function, it helps to take a look at them individually, starting with dopamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for maintaining energy levels, focus, and even generating movement. As such, it is not uncommon for individuals with a dopamine imbalance to become depressed, lose focus, and even feel lethargic.
As far as severe anxiety and general nervousness, this is where norepinephrine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid imbalances often come into the picture. Norepinephrine is associated with the fight or flight response, the physiological response to stressful situations, which can stem from being in dangerous or unfamiliar surroundings, for example. That said, it is quite common for individuals with a norepinephrine imbalance to experience some form of anxiety.
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Rated 45 Out Of 5 Stars
Sheri helped me understand, helped me with the motivation I was lacking, explained to me many things I needed to know and understand and the list could go on and on. Well today I can happily say that it was the best thing I have ever done. I am back to living my life, but most importantly a better, healthier one. This has changed me in so many ways. If I can do this, you can. If you are in a bad place, do this for yourself.K.D., Canada
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
An anxiety disorder is like any other health problem that requires treatment. You cant will it away. Its not a matter of self-discipline or attitude. Researchers have made a lot of progress in the last few decades in treating mental health conditions. Your healthcare provider will tailor a treatment plan that works for you. Your plan may combine medication and psychotherapy.
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Biological Explanations Of Anxiety: Part Iv
The endocrine system:
The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. When the SNS is activated, it causes the adrenal glands to release two hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline. These two chemicals provide the extra fuel the body needs as it “revs-up” for action. These two chemicals are very similar. They work to increase heart rate and blood pressure. Because these chemicals are also found in the brain, adrenaline and noradrenaline are considered neurotransmitters as well.
In addition to these two hormones, other hormones also activate various mechanisms throughout the body in response to stress. One stress-related hormone is corticotropin-releasing hormone . So far, most research on CRH has been conducted with animals . This research suggests that high levels of CRH are associated with anxiety-related behaviors. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that dysfunction, or dysregulation of CRH may cause increased anxiety in human beings as well. In addition, CRH helps turn-on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. The HPA is another part of the neuroendocrine system that is also involved in the stress response. It has been linked to anxiety and mood disorders such depression. While these are promising areas of investigation, this research is highly complex and beyond the scope of this article. Nonetheless, our ever-increasing understanding of the human brain has advanced our understanding of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders.
How Do Anxiety Disorders Affect Children
Its normal for children to feel some amount of anxiety, worry or fear at certain points. For example, a child may feel scared of a thunderstorm or barking dog. A teenager might get anxious about an upcoming test or school dance.
But sometimes, children approach these situations with overwhelming dread or they cant stop thinking about all the fears tied to one of these events. It may seem that none of your comforts help. These children often get stuck on their worries. They have a hard time doing their daily activities, like going to school, playing and falling asleep. Theyre extremely reluctant to try something new.
When thinking about your childs anxiety levels, getting stuck is key. It separates the regular worries of childhood from an anxiety disorder that needs professional help. If the anxiety or worry interferes with your childs ability to function, it may be time to seek help
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Chemicals In The Brain That Can Affect Your Body And Emotions
- Post author
Many of you might not know that your brain contains so many types of chemicals. These chemicals are definitely different than the types of chemicals that you can find everyday in the environment. Chemicals in brain have their own specific functions, in this case, helps your brain works properly. The lack of these chemicals might cause certain issues as well. Chemicals in brain are known as neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitter came in several different types that have their own function and characteristics.
Basically, neurotransmitter is the chemicals that are synthesized in neuron on your brain and stored in synaptic bulb that is located at the end of axon. These chemicals are released from terminal axon through exocytose and also reabsorbed for recycling. Neurotransmitter is the method of communication between neurons. These chemicals can cause change of neuron cell permeability so that the neuron can distribute impulse depend on the neuron and the transmitter. There are several types of neurotransmitter that can be found in human brain. Below are short descriptions of each neurotransmitter in human brain.
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The Functions;of Chemicals in Brain
The Types of Chemical in Brain
As a result, here are the;11 chemicals in the brain that can affect your body and emotions:
Can I Get Too Much Adrenaline
The body is pretty good when it comes to self-limiting adrenaline production. When the threat or emotion passes, the production of adrenaline stops. However, there are some medical conditions, like sleep apnoea or adrenal tumours in which adrenaline overproduction creates a chemical imbalance.
Sometimes, stress and worry can cause your body to release adrenaline when it doesnt need to. For example, when youre trying to get to sleep at night but stressing out about the following day. Its both annoying and uncomfortable, and if stress is prolonged, your health can suffer.
One way to help relieve these feeling is to try and activate your parasympathetic nervous system, known as the rest-and-digest system. This can override the fight or flight response that your body is experiencing in times of stress. Some ways to do this include:
- deep breathing
- meditation and mindfulness
- trying relaxing movement like yoga or tai chi
- talk to friends or family about whats bothering you so you can switch off at night
- self-care eating well and getting regular exercise
- limiting caffeine and alcohol
- avoid devices before and at bedtime
Our Stress guide has lots of information on practical ways to help de-stress at home, like how to get started on mindfulness or journaling. You can also learn about programs and services we can offer if you need a little extra help.;
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Understand And Master The Brain Chemicals That Cause Anxiety
To fix a problem, it helps to first understand the machinery.
We often struggle to understand persistent anxiety because it is not rooted in verbal logic. Anxiety can seemingly arise from nowhere and attach to fabricated and nameless threats.
Anxiety emotional, intellectual, and cognitive processes originate in the brain. Neurochemicals constantly interact with one another and influence our navigation of the world. In the most fundamental sense, we are governed by brain chemistry. Our brain is powered by a biological operating system we inherited from our ancestors. This brain hardware has not changed in tens of thousands of years. We dont learn from intellectualizing analyzing every possible action. We learn from accidents of experience. Experiences are logged in the brain with neurochemical pathways. Our cortexs use serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin, and other neurotransmitters, to make decisions.
Once you understand how your brain works, even at a high-level, it is easier to accept, manage, and control the chemicals that cause anxiety.
In;Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels, Dr. Loretta Breuning introduces the basic brain chemicals that cause anxiety.
Genes’ Effect On Mood And Depression
Every part of your body, including your brain, is controlled by genes. Genes make proteins that are involved in biological processes. Throughout life, different genes turn on and off, so that in the best case they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter your biology in a way that results in your mood becoming unstable. In a person who is genetically vulnerable to depression, any stress can then push this system off balance.
Mood is affected by dozens of genes, and as our genetic endowments differ, so do our depressions. The hope is that as researchers pinpoint the genes involved in mood disorders and better understand their functions, depression treatment can become more individualized and more successful. Patients would receive the best medication for their type of depression.
Another goal of gene research, of course, is to understand how, exactly, biology makes certain people vulnerable to depression. For example, several genes influence the stress response, leaving us more or less likely to become depressed in response to trouble.
The evidence for other types of depression is more subtle, but it is real. A person who has a first-degree relative who suffered major depression has an increase in risk for the condition of 1.5% to 3% over normal.
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How Exercise Eases Depression
Sometimes we need neurons to fire, but sometimes they can fire unnecessarily and we need them to calm down. The balance of excitement and inhibition of neurons needs to be kept in check. When the balance is knocked out, it can lead to anxiety or depression.
Glutamate is the main chemical in the brain that is responsible for stimulating the neurons that need to fire. It is involved in memory, emotions and cognition. When the levels of glutamate are too low or too high, depression happens. ;
When the levels of glutamate are too high.;
The;role of glutamate in the depression is complicated and depends on the levels in particular areas of the brain. Elevated levels of glutamate have been found in the brains of people with depression, specifically in the basal ganglia, an area that has a key role in motor control, motivation and decision-making.;High levels of glutamate in this part of the brain have been;associated with anhedonia , and slow motor function.
When glutamate is too high, it can become toxic to neurons and glia . There is extensive research evidence that supports the relationship between systemic;inflammation and;depression. People with depression have all the primary markers of systemic inflammation . Researchers now think that one of the ways that inflammation may do this is by increasing glutamate levels in critical;areas of the brain.;
And when the levels of glutamate are too low.