Anxiety appears in your body to deal with short-term threats that occur. If you are too stressed all of the time, your protective mechanisms will turn against you and result in damage to essential brain circuits. It is important never to have untreated anxiety, or your disorder can impact the mental health of your body negatively.
Untreated Anxiety Can Lead to Mental Health Problems
Untreated anxiety can lead to impacted thinking or a lack of focus. You will not be able to stop these intrusive thoughts when they are on overdrive, and these negative thoughts will keep repeating themselves. This anxiety will make it hard for you to concentrate on your work or to think of anything else. If your worries are too loud, you will not be able to calm yourself down. You could also develop other mental health issues if your anxiety goes untreated, like depression or substance abuse to self-medicate your symptoms. If your brain uses more specific neural pathways, these pathways will get stronger. The more anxious you are, the larger your anxiety is going to get.
How Untreated Anxiety Affects Your Brain
Not doing anything about your anxiety can also make it even more challenging to go to sleep, which can worsen your mental health. You can also be stuck in a fight-or-flight response even when nothing dangerous or threatening is happening. Your brain can be on a high alert for danger looking around for possible threats, even if you don’t realize it. This constant state can make it challenging to come back to calm. Your stem cells also have the potential to malfunction, which can make a bad connection between the brain and the amygdala, which controls your fears. If your hippocampus shrinks, these anxiety-provoking events will turn into memories. The quality of gray matter will decrease and will impact the size and connectivity of the amygdala.
How Your Behavior is Affected
Anxiety also treats the neuroendocrine system. The brain tells the adrenal glands to release stress hormones, which prepares your body to deal with threats and other brain adaptations. When your adrenal glands go into overdrive as a result of anxiety, your immune system will be affected, and the expression of your genes will change, which affects behavior. The circuitry would also vary between the prefrontal cortex, which affects your planning, and the amygdala, which would become unbalanced and damaged. By treating your anxiety, you can learn how to cope with your anxiety healthily.
Get Treatment at Bayview Recovery
Though anxiety treatment is a critical part of getting your health back to normal, you may be nervous about seeking treatment. Maybe you’ve gotten addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with your anxiety. If so, we want to help. Contact Bayview Recovery today. We can treat your anxiety and addiction. We treat a variety of addictions, including:
Our program is in Tacoma, Washington. Our mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat many substance abuse disorders, along with anxiety and depression. To fulfill this mission, we use cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more. For more information, please call us at 855.478.3650. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We look forward to your call.