Low serotonin , caused by a genetic defect, is one of the most recently discovered examples. Does this sound like you? Take the somatic awareness quiz. And how common is this gene?
How Stress and Anxiety Affect the Brain
Ten percent! Read more. And of course anxiety is a risk factor for insomnia! Robert Sapolsky explains. Vicious circle. Chronic pain is extremely common, and can be both a cause and consequence of anxiety — sometimes equally, sometimes slanted much more one way than the other, but each always influencing the other to some degree. For many people with both anxiety and pain, solving the pain is the best possible treatment for the anxiety. Others must solve both at once. And a few will find that pain is just one of many ways that they are haunted by anxiety demons.
Spinal cord irritation is a particularly disturbing example, with a strong tie-in to chronic pain: some people may be anxious because they have irritated spinal cords, which occurs in some arthritic necks and can cause the body to react as if it were stressed. Which is not actually all that rare, believe it or not. Imagine for a moment the absurdity and futility of spending thousands on counselling to try to learn to be less anxious when your anxiety has a simple-in-principle medical cause like this. Anxiety can be magnificently destructive, but when combined with chronic pain it becomes paralyzing.
Being told to calm down in the right way, or telling ourselves, can be effective. But most of them are just variations on telling ourselves to calm down, and they are hardly a magic bullet. But there are are other, better ways to calm down. And what if you had professional help with that? If only we had thought about being more positive! How silly of us.