How fear and anxiety arise in your brain

A Neuroscientist Argues That Everybody Is Misunderstanding Fear and Anxiety

Every age believes itself to be the age of anxiety, as Auden’s famous poem first put it. But in his new book, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety, the neuroscientist and writer Joseph LeDoux suggests that that has never been a stronger claim to make than it is now. In the United States, fear and anxiety disorders are together the most common psychiatric problem, affecting roughly 20 percent of all Americans at a cost of more than $40 billion in lost productivity every year. If this is the age of anxiety, LeDoux is our Lewis and our Clark: It was LeDoux who laid down the first map of what is called the brain’s “fear circuit,” the regions — centered on the amygdala and its adjacent structures — that together give rise to our ability to respond to threats and danger. ….[READ]

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