“ Anxiety is the apprehension cued off by a threat to some value that the individual holds essential to his security and core sense of personality...The threat may be to physical life (the threat of death), or to a psychological existence (the loss of freedom, meaninglessness). Or the threat may be to some other value one identifies with one’s existence (patriotism, the love of another person, “success”, etc.).”
Rollo May

We have five main emotions:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Sadness
  • Happiness

To understand how anxiety forms, we first need to understand the role of emotions. Emotions are cued off as a reaction to a situation, object or event. The emotion is linked in the brain to a database which determines how one should behave with such an emotion. This triggers a reaction.

Emotions are part of our survival skills. Fear is important when a life threatening situation is ahead of us.  The emotion allows us to react accordingly. The problems begins when fear is hyper-triggered by non-life threatening situations. This results in anxiety.

Let’s have a look at realistic anxiety vs. neurotic anxiety

Realistic Anxiety is a rational threat as a result of a biological reaction between adrenaline and cortisol rise. The individual has sufficient ability to solve the threat and have a sharp reaction which will help a person develop and grow.

Neurotic Anxiety is based on irrational threats as a result of a biological nervous disorder. The result is insufficiency in solving the threat which can leads on compulsive behavior and panic attacks. The individual’s life can be affected in his or her relationships with him/herself and others.

There are four main anxiety types:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

  2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  3. Social Phobias

  4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

We will focus on Generalized Anxiety Disorder.