Anxiety is medically recognized as the experience of negative feelings of apprehension, worry, and general unease. These feelings can range from subtle and ignorable to intense and overwhelming enough to trigger panic attacks or feelings of impending doom. Anxiety is often accompanied by nervous behaviour such as stimulation, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and muscular tension. Psychoactive substance-induced anxiety can be caused as an inescapable effect of the drug itself, by a lack of experience with the substance or its intensity, as an intensification of a pre-existing state of mind, or by the experience of negative hallucinations. The focus of anticipated danger can be internally or externally derived.
Anxiety is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as depression and irritability. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as cannabinoids, psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. However, it can also occur during the withdrawal symptoms of GABAergic depressants and during stimulant comedowns.
If you have anxiety, you may want to read the anxiety suppression effect. Additionally, if the anxiety is significantly impacting well-being for a prolonged time period, it is highly recommended to seek out therapeutic medical attention and/or a support group.
Fear is not anxiety. Fear is the response to an immediate threat, whereas anxiety is a set of behaviours attempting to mitigate a perceived future threat. Anxiety disorders are an atypical learning of maladaptive behaviours. While there is substantial evidence indicating anxiety disorders involve genetics and early environmental factors, the practice of anxious thoughts and behavioural patterns also further strengthens their associated neural pathways. Ironically, attempting to avoid anxiety-causing behavioural cues protects the anxiety-causing neural pathways from being extinguished.
Fear and anxiety are defensive neural networks involving many functionally distinct hubs. While there is a substantial overlap between fear and anxiety in these defensive networks, they do differ. Typically the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are the focal points for fear and anxiety respectively, but there are significant problems assigning these as the main center. These hubs generate signals to modify the appropriate defensive neural pathways, but they are not centers for eliciting subjective experience. The body's defensive responses appear before the conscious awareness of feeling threatened, when there is no conscious awareness of feeling threatened, and for survival cues such as hunger. Automatic defensive responses are not by necessity conscious feelings, meaning there are different neural pathways involved for anxiety to be a subjective experience.
Due to the sheer breadth of brain systems involved, the influence of intestinal bacteria, and any potential communicative malfunctioning between any these systems, it's not useful to describe anxiety's underlying neuroanatomy outside of a clinician's context. However, there are specific observable tendencies in anxious individuals:
- Inflated estimates of threat cost and probability
- Increased threat attention and hypervigilance
- Impaired recognition of safety cues
- Behavioural and cognitive avoidance
- Heightened reactivity to threat uncertainty
Anxiety disorders are the most common class of mental disorder; one third of the population is affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. It's consistently found that the prevalence in women is twice as high as in men. Patients may suffer from their disorder for years to decades, but it does not mean that it is permanent. There is a high overlap among slightly differing classifications of anxiety disorders, and between anxiety disorders with other mental disorders. It is important to remember that the presence of anxiety is a normal defense mechanism. Anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder when it significantly impacts functional well-being for prolonged periods of time.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:
- Experience: 22mg 2C-B (oral) / 100ug 1P-LSD (sublingual) - My first time tripping alone (2 days in a row)
- Experience: 660ug LSD - First bad trip
- Experience: LSD (Unknown dosage) - My experiences with LSD and anorexia/bulemia
- Experience: Ritalin 110mg (oral)
- Experience:100-350mg - Phenylpiracetam in daily life
- Experience:120µg LSD - First Bad Acid Trip, Psychosis
- Experience:150mg MDMA + 20mg 2C-B - I designed it this way myself
- Experience:17mg 3-MeO-PCP & Cannabis oil - Terrifying confusion
- Experience:1g Methiopropamine - Chasing the Chalky Dragon
- Experience:2 grams Psilocybe Cubensis + 2.7 grams Syrian Rue - The Psilohuasca Albino Fox
- Experience:2 x 150 LSD tabs
- Experience:2.5g Peganum Harmala + 250µg LSD - Ecstasy of Love and Misanthropy
- Experience:2.5g Syrian rue + 6g Mimosa Hostilis - Becoming God (my second experience with unity)
- Experience:20mg - I looked up and saw an angry god-like figure made of clouds glaring down at me
- Experience:250 seeds - Harsh body load
- Experience:25mg Quetiapine - Nice buzz
- Experience:26mg - I begged the shroom aliens to kill me
- Experience:26mg - Stage 3 Trip
- Experience:3 drops of cinnamon bark oil/ 5 drops of german chamomile oil/ 2mL of nutmeg oil in lecithin - experiments with nutmeg oil
- Experience:3-MeO-PCP - Extreme psychosis
- Experience:3.5g psilocybe cubensis - Relinquishing of Material Chains/Fear and Desolation
- Experience:3g - I found god inside of myself
- Experience:4 Days Sleep Deprivation - Progression of Sleep Deprivation Visuals Over Time
- Experience:40mg DMT - Second breakthrough
- Experience:45mg 2cc & 45mg 4-aco-dmt - Ego death and loneliness
- Experience:50mg - How's the short-term memory?
- Experience:535mg - My First DXM Trip
- Experience:A combination of 25mg 4-AcO-DMT and unknown amount of 6-APB (benzofury)
- Experience:DMT: 200mg 1/5 changa - Bad yet glorious trip
- Experience:DPH (750 mg) - The Dancing Invisible Men Come to Life!
- Experience:DXM and Cannabis: 100mg - Unexpected Strong Trip
- Experience:Datura Alcoholic Tincture
- Experience:FMA (37.5 mg, oral) - Never been this productive in my life
- Experience:LSD (230 ug) - An amazing adventure by vikilikepsych
- Experience:Meditation with cannabis - terminated ego loss
- Experience:Mushrooms (~0.5 g) - Autonomous Voice
- Experience:Nutmeg (8 teaspoons) - My Mom Introduces Me To Genesis and Other Things
- Experience:Unknown Dosages: 1 psilocin chocolate, 1 hit LSD; Lawing the Mown
- Experience:Unknown Dose DOC (Insufflated) - Overdosing and Terifying Ego Death
- Experience:Unknown dose - Supermarket dislocation and biking
- Experience:Zopiclone hppd?
- Responsible use
- Subjective effects index
- Panic attack
- Anxiety suppression
- Deliriants - Subjective effects
- Psychedelics - Subjective effects
- Dissociatives - Subjective effects
- Survey of Nootropics (Anxiety / no Anxiety comparison)
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- Barkus, Christopher; McHugh, Stephen B.; Sprengel, Rolf; Seeburg, Peter H.; Rawlins, J. Nicholas P.; Bannerman, David M. (2010). "Hippocampal NMDA receptors and anxiety: At the interface between cognition and emotion". European Journal of Pharmacology. 626 (1): 49–56. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2009.10.014. ISSN 0014-2999.
- Tovote, P., Fadok, J. P., Lüthi, A. (June 2015). "Neuronal circuits for fear and anxiety". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 16 (6): 317–331. doi:10.1038/nrn3945. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
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- LeDoux, J. E., Pine, D. S. (November 2016). "Using Neuroscience to Help Understand Fear and Anxiety: A Two-System Framework". American Journal of Psychiatry. 173 (11): 1083–1093. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16030353. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
- Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: neuroscientific basis and practical application (4th ed ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107025981.
- Foster, J. A., McVey Neufeld, K.-A. (May 2013). "Gut–brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression". Trends in Neurosciences. 36 (5): 305–312. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2013.01.005. ISSN 0166-2236. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
- Bandelow, B., Michaelis, S. (30 September 2015). "Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century". Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 17 (3): 327–335. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2015.17.3/bbandelow. ISSN 1958-5969. Retrieved 30 May 2022.