Anxiety in Adults
Anxiety is probably the most common mental heath issue faced by adults. Everybody experiences anxiety to a certain degree and most of the time anxiety can be a normal response to a threatening situation. In this sense, anxiety is like a built-in alarm system that alerts us to potential threats. During periods of heightened stress, a person’s flight-or-fight system (i.e., autonomic nervous system) becomes activated which prepares our body to respond to a perceived challenge or threat. Worry, the mental process at the core of anxiety, keeps this flight-or-flight system stuck in the “on” position. When this system is on for too long it can have significant psychological, emotional, and physical symptoms and can even weaken our immune system. Anxiety is the cognitive, emotional, and physiological group of symptoms associated with this over-activated flight-or-flight system.