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Can excessive worry and anxiety cause a stress response?

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Stress comes from the demands and pressures we experience each day. Long lines at the grocery store, rush hour traffic, a phone ringing nonstop, or a chronic illness are all examples of things that can cause stress on a daily basis. When worries and anxiety become excessive, chances are you’ll trigger the stress response. There are two elements to the stress response. The first is the perception of the challenge. The second is an automatic physiological reaction called the "fight or flight" response that brings on a surge of adrenaline and sets your body on red alert. There was a time when the "fight or flight" response protected our ancestors from such dangers as wild animals that could easily make a meal out of them. Although today we don't ordinarily encounter wild animals, dangers still exist. They’re there in the form of a demanding coworker, a colicky baby, or a dispute with a loved one.

From: How Worrying Affects the Body WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders” and "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)."

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: “Brief Overview of Anxiety Disorders.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 10, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Anxiety Disorders” and "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)."

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: “Brief Overview of Anxiety Disorders.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on August 10, 2017

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Can excessive worry make me physically ill?

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