Is anxiety neurological or psychological?
Are you someone who experiences anxiety? Do you find yourself wondering whether it’s neurological or psychological? Well, my dear reader, let’s demystify this topic and explore the mechanisms behind anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Before diving in, let’s first understand what anxiety is. Have you ever found your heart racing before a big presentation or interview? That feeling of unease that makes it difficult to focus on anything else – that’s anxiety! It’s our body’s natural response to stress, but prolonged feelings of anxiousness can become debilitating.
Anxiety can manifest in different ways such as panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia and specific phobias. But regardless of how it presents itself, we want to know if it has a root cause in either neurology or psychology.
Are Our Brains To Blame for Anxiety?
To answer the question at hand- yes! The brain does have some involvement when it comes to experiencing anxiousness. When we’re under high levels of stress, our brains activate certain parts which drive us into fight-or-flight mode. This process involves raising cortisol hormone levels -which causes an increase in blood glucose-, this helps us prepare adequately under threat situations by increasing alertness; however prolonged increase leads to higher blood pressure than normal leading pulse rise resulting in detrimental effects like nervousness sometimes even pain(scientifically called chest tightness).
It all starts with neurons present within two regions of the brain (amygdala and hypothalamus) firing up because they’ve detected something dangerous lurking around. Once activated they send signals through the spinal cord influencing glandular secretions from adrenal medulla release adrenaline hormones-(think about bone marrow cells) that trigger responses such as faster breathing rate muscle tension & rapid heartbeat-do these physical symptoms sound familiar?- welcome to anxiety club.
Psychology: The Other Culprit
All right, it’s safe to say that neurology does impact anxiety in some way or the other; however, there’s more to our emotional state than just neurotransmitters firing off within our brains – psychology plays a cardinal role in determining what triggers anxious responses. Hold on tight! This is where it gets interesting!
How we think and feel about different situations can determine whether we become anxious or not. For example, people who are perfectionists and have low self-esteem reflect on their failures excessively leading them into constant worry mode-thereby triggering anxiety attacks.
Another factor that weighs us down by making us susceptible to anxiety is traumatic experiences from childhood (1) (anxiety may also be genetic) impacting an individual later in life when faced with similar circumstances-(#Trigger Alert!)
Can We Find A Definitive Answer?
Now comes a million-dollar question- which one causes anxiety? Is it neurological or psychological? Well, after several decades of research, scientists still haven’t found one definitive answer–and no “one size fits all solution” as each person has their unique experience dealing with this issue.
For many individuals who struggle with severe bouts of online shopping (a proxy for symptomatic escalation), therapy coupled with medication proves beneficial- and just like that you’re relieved!(read out loud)
Still others find relief organically by taking up yoga classes(2). So there isn’t any blueprint protocol working universally
After digging through heaps of data-scientific publications case studies-for sure ,we don’t live lives black-and-white –while understanding how your brain operates does provide insight into why/how you’re feeling a certain way but fixing the root cause requires professional intervention —be it counseling medication-or lifestyle adaptations
So Dear readers, the next time you find yourself competing against time-consuming obsessions/anxieties-remember-to take a deep breath because the root causes of anxiety are present in neurology and psychology, but there’s no one “right” answer! It’s all about finding what works best for YOU.