Anxiety is often caused by the stressful situations of life, whether it’s associated with work, financial hardship, marital troubles or divorce or other daily challenges. Traumatic events, such as a loss of a loved one or witnessing an accident, can trigger intense anxiety. Anxiety can also be caused by a mental health condition, physical conditions, side effects from a medication, brain chemistry, genetics or substance abuse.
Problem anxiety may be caused by any one of these sources, or a combination of them. A physician must first conduct a medical evaluation to assess if the symptoms of anxiety are related to a physical condition. If no physical illness is present, then a referral to a mental health practitioner will be recommended in order to diagnose and proceed with treatment for anxiety.
Mental health causes of anxiety
Anxiety disorders are serious mental health conditions that can cause such crippling symptoms that life becomes unbearable. Examples of anxiety disorders are:
Physical causes of anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety frequently appear when people are withdrawing from the drug to which they have become addicted. Anxiety symptoms can accompany withdrawal from heroin, Vicodin, barbiturates or benzodiazepines.
Presently, the exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown, but research has shown these disorders may be caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain, genetics and environmental stressors, in addition to the ones discussed on this page.
Anxiety disorders may also be caused by the lack of function in the portion of the brain that regulates fear and other emotions as they are related to the stress hormone, cortisol. Studies have shown that severe or long-lasting stress can change the way nerve cells within these circuits transmit information from one region of the brain to another.
Other studies reveal a relationship between anxiety disorders and changes in certain brain structures that control memories associated with strong emotions. In addition, research has discovered that anxiety disorders can be partly inherited from one or both parents. Moreover, certain environmental factors — such as a trauma or significant event — may trigger an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing the symptoms.
Anxiety Treatment Centers of California is a network of treatment facilities that provide mental health treatment for anxiety. In addition, ATCC is a resource center for the latest news and treatment information for anxiety disorders. For more information on anxiety treatment centers in California, call (855) 972-9459