When Does Functional Anxiety Become Dysfunctional?

When Does Functional Anxiety Become Dysfunctional?

As many as 16% of individuals have or have had an anxiety disorder or phobia. Dr. Jen Gunter M.D. compares functional anxiety to disordered anxiety while noting that anxiety disorders are just as important and as treatable as diabetes or heart disease. Dr. Gunter explains the causes of anxiety and at which point normal anxiety becomes disordered, contributing the cause to differences in brain functionality as it relates to environmental stressors. 

By examining the amygdala, an almond-shaped region of the brain, and the relationship to the hypothalamus, the main hub of transport of important electrical signals, Dr. Gunter highlights possible malfunctions in brain pathways; specifically, the communication between the hypothalamus and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for the ‘logic’ portion of stress responses. 

 

Image Credits:
Feature Image: Christopher Ott, On Unsplash, Creative Commons