What Causes Anxiety?

What Causes Anxiety?

Many anxiety sufferers don’t understand why they have an anxiety disorder. We might not feel worried, afraid, or stressed about anything in particular. To us, it makes no sense at all. We think that there must be something wrong with us. Our lives aren’t any more stressful than others, and are far better than many. So what causes anxiety? What makes me so much more sensitive than my neighbor?

The key to understanding what causes anxiety is realizing that anxiety is much more than simple fear or worry. What causes anxiety has fairly little to do with how much stress is in your life or how satisfied you are with your life. To understand what causes anxiety, you have to understand brain chemistry, genetics, life experiences, and personality traits.

What causes anxiety from a chemistry perspective? In stressful or frightening situations, your brain produces a flood of chemicals that trigger a fight-or-flight response. Essentially, your brain is setting up the body to either defend itself or escape. If you’re being attacked by a bear, this is a helpful response. If your stress comes from a difficult boss or your teenager’s report card, then it isn’t quite the response needed. Our brains haven’t caught up with societal changes, however, so it handles the situations in the same way.

In most people, our bodies can get rid of these chemicals fairly efficiently. Some anxiety sufferers have abnormal brain chemistry that causes them to release these substances without a cause. Many with anxiety disorders aren’t able to process them as well, so they build up and cause chronic anxiety. This is one reason why frequent exercise helps with anxiety. Our body is supposed to either fight off an attacker or run away in these situations, so exercise can provide some release.

What causes anxiety from a genetic point of view? While it isn’t exactly clear how much of a role heredity plays, anxiety disorders tend to run in families. While the severity may vary, if one member of a family has anxiety concerns, then others are more at risk.

What causes anxiety in your life experiences? Having gone through a traumatic life experience can make you stronger, or it can create anxiety. What causes anxiety in you may not cause it in someone else. While a single event is unlikely to cause anxiety, what causes anxiety is often a series of stressful events following closely. If you lose several loved ones over the space of a few months, or a job loss causes you to then lose your home, then you are more likely to develop anxiety than if only one of those happened.

What personality traits cause anxiety? Like other causes, personality contributions are varied and hard to predict. Some people have a generally anxious disposition, and are more likely to develop anxiety disorders. You might place a great importance on relationships, so disruptions in romance or friendships can cause anxiety. Someone else might be very sensitive to economic uncertainty or crowded places.

What causes anxiety is different in each of us. For most anxiety sufferers, there is no single cause. What causes anxiety is usually a combination of genetics and brain chemistry, personality, and life experiences. This makes it more complicated to treat and learn to cope. It is hard to find ways to lessen it without knowing what causes anxiety.

Knowing what causes anxiety helps you to keep a positive outlook. While it is sometimes out of your control, there are reasons for the way you feel. As you try various treatments you will be able to get a better idea of what causes your anxiety and what will help.