The Adverse Relationship Between Chronic Stress and Anxiety Disorders


  • Mina Pichtikova McMaster University


Experiencing stress is considered a regular part of life when it is acute and appropriate. However, nowadays many individuals are suffering from chronic stress: a pathological state caused by prolonged activation of the acute stress response. Such chronic stress induces structural and physiological changes in the neurocircuitry of fear and anxiety (amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus). Furthermore, researchers have noted similar patterns of abnormal brain activity in individuals suffering from chronic stress and those living with anxiety disorders. Considering this, it is imperative that individuals uncover new ways to reduce the chronic stress they experience, or they may be at an increased risk for anxiety disorders.





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