When we talk about anxiety, your life experiences, emotions, and stress can actually change your neurotransmitters, just as neurotransmitters can affect your mood and anxiety. Anxiety is a psychological, physiological, and behavioural state induced by a threat to well-being or survival, either actual or potential. It is characterized by increased arousal, expectancy, autonomic and neuroendocrine activation, and specific behaviour patterns.
The biochemistry of anxiety is complex and vast and nearly every type of neurotransmitter and hormone can play some role in anxiety, as can anything that reduces blood flow to the brain (like dehydration). Anxiety, in many ways, is simply your body’s reaction to brain stress.
Chemicals are involved in conditions such as anxiety and depression, but it is not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life.
Research on the Pyrrole in Urine Test is demonstrating that changes in bile flow, as measured in this test, can be strongly associated with anxiety. This helps target treatment.
With this level of complexity, you can see how two people might have similar symptoms of depression or anxiety, but the problem on the inside, and therefore what treatments will work best, may be entirely different.
Researchers have learned much about the biology of conditions such as anxiety and depression. They’ve identified genes that make individuals more vulnerable to low moods and influence how an individual responds to drug therapy. Ongoing research into these discoveries will lead to better, more individualized treatment options. And while researchers know more now than ever before about how the brain regulates mood, their understanding of the biology of depression is far from complete.