The body is a complex network of all of our biological functions, and when we’re stressed, our brain starts to work against us. We become less efficient at using brain chemicals, like serotonin, that help in regulating mood and mood-related behaviors. Studies have shown that people who are most anxious tend to have the most serotonin deficiencies and also the most anxiety and depression.
Many of us think that stress is bad for our health, but there’s a catch. When we’re stressed, there’s a lot of stress hormones in the blood that are damaging our brain. One of the primary stress hormones is cortisol, which is the only hormone that’s not tied to our height or weight or blood sugar level.
I don’t know about you, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the opposite of anxious. I am very anxious. I’m always on the lookout for the next bad thing that’s going to happen to me. I’m always on the lookout for ways to kill myself. I’m constantly worried about my friends. I’m always worried about how my family is going to react. I’m always worried about my job.
The bad thing is that you’re always under stress, even when you’re not worried. It’s all of our brains, all of our thoughts, all of our feelings, it’s all of our nervous systems, the entire nervous system being a bit of a catch-all term for the entire body.
What you think is stressful is actually a lot of things, from mundane to important. In my own case I have a constant fear of a potential “catastrophic event.” A major event where I might not be able to perform for a long time and people might not want to see me again. A major event that will completely change how anyone who knows me thinks of me. A major event that might ruin everything and lead to no contact between me and my friends.
Of course there’s also a lot of other things that are stressors. There’s a real fear of death. There’s a real fear of divorce. There’s a real fear of financial bankruptcy. There’s a real fear of losing your job. There’s a real fear of losing a loved one. There’s a real fear of not being able to get laid or have sex. There’s a real fear of not being able to have a career or get a good job.
Theres a real fear of not being able to see through windows and doors anymore. Theres a real fear of not being able to see your dog anymore. Theres a real fear of not being able to see your kids anymore. And theres a real fear of not being able to see your own eyes anymore.
Fear is a natural response to the things that scare you in life. The problem is that the same things that scare you tend to scare others when you’re afraid of them. And that’s why the majority of people that we interview when they’re talking about anxiety and related issues (like depression or addiction) tend to get the idea that their anxiety is a bad thing.
When a person is afraid of something, they tend to be more prone to certain anxiety-related disorders. Some of them are more common in men than women (e.g., panic disorder) some of them are more common in children (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is a disorder most commonly associated with young kids), and some of them can be seen in more than one of these categories (e.g., social anxiety disorder).
Anxiety disorders can be seen in the same way you might see a hangnail growing out of your toe. It’s kind of like a little hiccup in the flow of your life. You know that your anxiety is bad, but you have no idea why. A lot of times it’s because you’re living in a place that’s completely alien to your body, and you feel like you’re in a constant state of flux.