Stress Management > Anxiety > Causes of Anxiety

Causes of Anxiety

There is a substantial amount of research on the topic of anxiety, particularly the causes of anxiety.

Genetic abnormalities

There is some research that has found genetics have caused changes in a person's brain processes and thought patterns that make them more susceptible to suffer from an anxiety disorder. There has also been research that has found anxiety can be passed on to the next generations, however, this is not the only cause of anxiety and certainly not the only influence deciding if a person will be diagnosed with the disorder. Many research studies have indicated that genetics may be accountable for a small proportion of anxiety diagnosis, however, often there will be a major life event or trigger that instigates the diagnosis of Anxiety.

Brain function and communication

Generalised Anxiety Disorder has been found to be partly caused by changes in level and availability of certain brain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in the brain that enable the communication between nerve cells and subsequently different brain regions. If there is an abnormal level of neurotransmitters whether it is too much or too little, difficulties arise.

Environmental factors

Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. Symptoms of anxiety often worsen during periods of stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.