Anxiety is a human emotion practically everyone has from time to time. But it can be very stressful and be harmful to our daily lives when it is severe. With anxiety, people experience an unpleasant state of inner turmoil. They may develop behaviors such as pacing back and forth, sleep disorders, and obsessively thinking about their distress.
While anxiety can be an appropriate response to situations in our lives, when it is experienced all the time, it is an anxiety disorder. People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger, and can last a long time. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood. People facing anxiety may withdraw from situations that have provoked anxiety in the past and become more reclusive and anxious.
The exact cause of anxiety disorders isn't fully understood. Anxiety often results from a deficiency of the brain’s natural calming hormones (neurotransmitters) known as GABA and Serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for helping to maintain a stable and positive mental state in the brain. Many factors can deplete these neurotransmitters over time including head trauma, injury, chronic pain, illness, and drug abuse. Unless GABA and Serotonin are restored to normal levels the symptoms of anxiety may persist and increase.