I'm finding that it's important to raise awareness about the distinction between someone having an anxiety disorder and someone experiencing stress-related anxiety.
Ayurvedically speaking, a true anxiety disorder is typically Vata in nature - it originates within the person, caused by a lifelong overactivity in the "fight or flight" nervous system response. Examples of Vata-type anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and panic.
Feelings of anxiety caused by external stressors typically begin with a Pitta imbalance, which then causes a Vata imbalance - an agitated response to a stressful situation causes the "fight or flight" response to become activated. Examples of Pitta-Vata anxiety disorders include posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social anxiety.
I've noticed that a lot of people today equate anxiety with the experience of stressful life situations. It is important to understand that feelings of anxiety caused by stressful circumstances are not the same thing as having an anxiety disorder.
Whereas external stressors can cause the neurochemical responses that give us feelings of anxiety, these anxious feelings are situational and they go away when the stressor goes away. This is not the case with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder happens because of a neurochemical tendency and does not go away when life isn't stressful. It's important for people to understand this because while we can all make choices about how we respond to external stressors, someone with anxiety can't just make the choice to "calm down". It's not that simple.
Let's all work together to end the shame that surrounds the experience of anxiety.🌻