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What Are The Causes of Anxiety?


Symptoms of anxiety disorders are very specific and widely vary from person to person. Examples of general anxiety disorders include general anxiety disorder (which is also sometimes called generalized anxiety disorder), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (which is also sometimes called trichotillomania). You may have more than one generalized anxiety disorder. Other times anxiety is a side effect or an accidental byproduct of certain medications. In many cases anxiety is related to a physical illness. That is why it is so important to speak with your doctor about your symptoms of anxiety.


A recent case of separation anxiety developed in my patient’s baby son after he was delivered vaginally via C-section. The delivery caused the muscles in his pelvis to spasm and he was unable to feel his head, chest, or abdomen after being unattended for six months. He kept telling me he was feeling fine, but continued to show signs of anxiety. I asked him if he had been eating anything, but he said no. His eating habits were strange – he rarely touched his food.

There are many causes of anxiety disorders, including biological, psychological, chemical and genetic causes. A recent study of twins found that genetics could play a role in how someone reacts to a stressful event such as a divorce. However, there was no evidence linking divorce, separation or death in the twins to abnormal levels of stress or anxiety. What causes separation anxiety in these patients may be different, but it does share some symptoms with post-traumatic stress disorder and major life transitions. The symptoms typically come on after the individual has experienced a life changing event or occurrence such as losing a job, being fired from their job, becoming ill or injured, having an injury or surgery, having a divorce, going through a tragic accident or experiencing a life changing traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one.

During the period of six months following the incident, sufferers of this condition exhibit feelings of worry, fear and dread and possibly dread even more rapidly than before the incident. They worry about being stuck in traffic, having injuries, not being able to get to work or school, having a car accident, having negative thoughts about leaving the house, having to go to counseling or visiting a doctor, etc. On the days leading up to the incident, they worry that something may happen to them or that something terrible will happen to a family member, friend or pet. This can then trigger irrational and exaggerated worry about money, health, safety, finances, home, work, driving, property, vehicle safety, public perception, etc.

Anxiety disorders, like other chronic illnesses, can result from a number of causes. Most importantly, it can result from the way we think, feel and react to situations. For example, people who suffer from chronic depression and alcohol abuse may have obsessive compulsive behaviors that are a result of their stressful lives. Other people’s anxiety include post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. In addition, the symptoms of these disorders are very similar to those people who are diagnosed with heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses.

Scientists believe that there are at least four different causes of the Anxiety disorder. These include genetics, brain chemistry, environmental factors and lifestyle choices. Anxiety symptoms and behaviors can either be mild or severe, and their severity can either be temporary or permanent. People with mild Anxiety disorders may have only a few symptoms such as anxiousness and irritability, while people with more severe illnesses can experience more disabling illnesses like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic attacks, chronic depression and social phobias.

Abnormal levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, have been found to be associated with many different types of disorders including anxiety and alcohol dependence. In addition, people who use drugs for anxiety benefit from higher levels of the substance in their blood stream. However, drugs, alcohol and the medications used to treat these conditions do not cause these people to become anxious and depressed. However, they can make their symptoms worse by causing interference with the brain’s chemical system. When this occurs, the person is unable to regulate his bodily functions and becomes incapable of self-care.

It is not always easy to determine when someone is suffering from Anxiety because these symptoms include feelings of mental disarray, feelings of unreality, fear, restlessness, fatigue, irritability and loss of control. When someone with Anxiety is confronted with these symptoms, he is likely to feel overwhelmed and will try to avoid triggers that cause him to feel anxious. People with Anxiety disorders should find help as soon as possible and should never ignore their symptoms.

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