Click here to access this episode’s transcript: When Instinct Turns Anxious Transcript. Note: 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.