Anxious? You're not alone.
According to Joseph LeDoux, fear and anxiety disorders are the most common of all psychiatric problems in the U.S., affecting up to 20 percent of the population.
LeDoux's new book "Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety," digs into the roots of anxiety and fear — and into the "ancient parts of the brain."
Our brains are trained, LeDoux said, to detect and respond to danger. Think of how you flinch, freeze, or throw your arms in front of your face if the moment calls for it. Often your brain reacts before you've even realized what's happening.
Once your thoughts have caught up, and identified the threat, that's when fear begins. It's a separate function, LeDoux says, from the initial reaction. But the two have been lumped together for many years and treated as one.
LeDoux's research works to separate and understand these two systems in the brain: the ancient part that identifies and reacts, and the conscious part that spurs emotional reactions like fear and anxiety.
LeDoux joined MPR News' Kerri Miller to discuss his book and the research that could put an end to "the age of anxiety."