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Anxiety disorder includes unhealthy brain response to negative emotion

Posted Feb 15 2010 5:50pm

How we deal with emotions is a key element in how we interact with othersinhabit our own skinsand access the energies we need to realize our talents.

A new study from Stanford University Medical Center indicates that people with anxiety disorders “have abnormalities in the way their brain unconsciously controls emotions.”

A news story explains“According to the National Institute of Mental Health18 percent of Americans have an anxiety disorder. GAD in particular is marked by extreme feelings of fear and uncertainty; people with the disorder live in a state of non-stop worry and often struggle getting through their daily lives.”

In the research studythe task involved viewing images of happy or fearful faceswith an overlay of the words “fear” or “happy.” People pressed a button to identify the expression of each face. But “some happy faces featured the word ‘fear,’ and vice versa – which created an emotional conflict for participants.

Using brain imagingit was found that anxious people had longer reaction times than healthy subjectsand the anterior cingulate in their brain failed to inhibit the amygdala “which acts to dampen or regulate negative emotion.”

Continued in article: Those With Anxiety Disorder Less Able To Regulate Response To Negative Emotions.

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