The Anatomy Of Anxiety

WHAT TRIGGERS IT... When the senses pick up a threat--a loud noise, a scary sight, a creepy feeling--the information takes two different routes through the brain

A THE SHORTCUT When startled, the brain automatically engages an emergency hot line to its fear center, the amygdala. Once activated, the amygdala sends the equivalent of an all-points bulletin that alerts other brain structures. The result is the classic fear response: sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure and a burst of adrenaline. All this happens before the mind is conscious of having smelled or touched anything. Before you know why you're afraid, you...

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