The most common mental illness … anxiety is the most common mental illness known and has been around as long as time itself.
Built into our brains is threat alert system involving the amygdala and the hippocampus primarily. The threat posed alerts the amygdala and hippocampus to produce adrenalin. Which in turn sends the body into fight or flight. We either stand and face the threat or oxygenated blood is pumped around the body. The muscles especially prepare to run. Certain systems in the body are shut down in order to focus strength where it’s needed. Digestion stops and sex drive blocked. Our skin goes pale and focus narrows.
Social anxiety and depression quite often go together. Not necessarily so though. It’s important to know there is a direct correlation between addiction and depression. Those with addictions are more likely to become addicted to drugs /alcohol. One tends to feed the other. We either take drugs, be it prescription or otherwise. Alcohol is a very easy addiction though and legal. Unfortunately it’s all too common for someone with severe anxiety or depression to reach for something that makes them feel better albeit temporary. From experience, I know you can get so far down it is whatever will take the pain away. Any relief is better than none. But is it? it can actually led into a worse scenario. Ending up having to come off our stabilisers and deal with whatever it was that kicked it off on the first place.
The most common mental illness… many believe that time is a great healer, however it doesn’t take away the fact that something happened to cause the damage in the first place. Whether it be one causal event or a build up of daily life stress. The fact remains we have to start the process of healing ourselves.
The most common mental illness… the spiral downwards can be stopped if you realise it’s started.
Physical differences in the brain.
In those with anxiety the amygdala is extremely sensitive and in most cases, scans show it is physically bigger. In some the hippocampus is also larger. So can it be reversed or just managed ? If the parts of the brain producing the anxiety are physically larger then can it be reversed. Not normally and the diagnosis would be clinical depression. This means that the patient would benefit from long term medication to manage the symptoms. Those with clinical depression and /or anxiety have been a part of many tests including many pictures of facial expressions. They were asked to look at a row of faces. The expressions ranged from smiling to anger. In the middle of the row the faces were a little more ambiguous however. When asked what category they would place those faces they always went with the more negative connotations.
This proves that the diagnosis of clinical anxiety and depression is something that affects how the person reads and interacts with others. Their perceptions of the other persons mood is very different. Misunderstandings in relationships of all kinds undertaken by these patients are difficult and only serve to intensify or cement any issues that are underlying,
Think about how you are perceived and how you are perceiving the actions and expressions of others. Are you feeding your condition with negative perceptions of others intentions and mood.