Episode 10: When Instinct Turns Anxious

Click here to access this episode’s transcript: When Instinct Turns Anxious TranscriptNote: Conversational pieces of transcripts may deviate slightly from the spoken podcast, but all facts and science are preserved. 

Today on Brainstorms, we dig into the neuroscience behind anxiety, the most common mental illness in the United States. Anxiety is a broad term used to describe a variety of disorders, and we look into each as it appears in the brain. We discuss how fear and stress are modulated in the healthy brain, and how these systems go awry to produce clinical anxiety. At the end, we explore why anxiety is so prevalent among teenagers, what the risk factors are, and how we can cope with and overcome anxiety disorders through neuroscience-based treatment options.

Here is some further reading associated with the episode:

  • If you’re curious to learn more about how stress affects the body and makes us susceptible to disease, check out this wonderful article by Brain Pickings. If you’re interested in philosophy, writing, and science in addition to neuroscience, I highly recommend the entirety of Brain Pickings. It’s my favorite website, and an amazing archive of ideas and famous teachings.
  • If you want to learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy, here’s a great article from BBC Science that covers CBT from all angles: neuroscience, psychology, and practice.
  • The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a Find A Therapist portal to find therapists specifically trained in treating anxiety and related disorders. That portal can be accessed here. When finding a therapist, remember that it’s normal and encouraged to try out a number of therapists; if one doesn’t feel right, try another one, if there is one available in your area.

Anxiety Disorders Overview

Age of Onset of Anxiety Disorders

Amygdala and Its Role in Fear Conditioning (Research Paper)

SM And the Amygdala

Handbook of Religion and Health by Harold Koenig, Dana King, Verna B. Carson

Cortisol and Its Physiological Effects

Glycogen Metabolism and Synthesis (Research Paper)

Cortisol in the Cardiovascular System (Research Paper)

Amygdala-Prefrontal Pathway Predicts Trait Anxiety (Research Paper)

Neural Circuitry of Anxiety (Research Paper)

Salivary Cortisol Levels in Anxiety Disorders (Research Paper)

Rats and Corticosterone Levels by Age (Research Paper)

Social Anxiety in Teenagers (Research Paper)

The Teenage Brain: Stress Response (Research Paper)

Social Anxiety Disorder

NYU Survey of Student Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety in High School

Spider Phobia Reversal with CBT (Research Paper)


Image: https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2014/05/22/final_what_we_fear_artwork_wide-78d18fd2b932b4af374a239e53e3afac7498338f.jpg?s=1400

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