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What Causes Anxiety? Common Signs & Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder

what causes anxiety

When dealing with stressors and issues of daily life, anxiety is a typical emotion. Anxiety becomes a problem when these feelings are uncontrollable and overwhelming and interfere with your capacity to operate. The causes of anxiety disorder are beyond regular life hassles. 

Phobias, panic, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are a few examples of the various types of anxiety disorders. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension for what lies ahead. Many factors are the causes of anxiety, hence you must look out for them to prevent it from escalating.

This article will help you learn about what triggers anxiety, its signs, symptoms, and how therapy for anxiety disorder can help you live better. 

Each person's symptoms of anxiety are unique. Anxiety causes a very particular response in the body. Your body goes on high alert when you are concerned, scanning the environment for potential threats and triggering your fight or flight mechanisms.

Lack of focus, rushing thoughts, or unwelcome ideas are examples of cognitive symptoms. Hypervigilance or impatience in behavior, anxiousness, excessive worry, fear, a sense of impending doom, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or shaking are additional common symptoms.


What Are The Common Causes of Anxiety?

Anxiety is a common mental health concern, with up to 19% of Americans experiencing some type of anxiety disorder. Even for individuals who haven't been diagnosed with anxiety, it's a frequent emotional state that indicates something is bugging us. 

However, researchers are unsure of what causes anxiety disorders. They believe a combination of factors is at work like a chemical imbalance. Prolonged or severe stress can alter the chemical balance that regulates your mood. A lot of stress over a long period of time can lead to an anxiety disorder. Let's elaborate more on that. The following are the most common causes of anxiety :

What Are The Common Causes of Anxiety?

  • Childhood or other past events: Anxiety can be brought on by stressful or traumatic situations, especially if they happened while you were a child. Past experiences with the following may contribute to anxiety issues such as having experienced ill-treatment or neglect, the death of a parent or being harassed.  Being exposed to these traumatic events as a youngster can hinder you from learning healthy coping mechanisms for the future, making you more susceptible to mental health issues like anxiety.
  • Family history or Genes: People who experience anxiety concerns frequently come from families with a history of mental illness. OCD is one condition that can run in families. It's more likely that you'll have anxiety at some point in your life if you have a close family who battles with it. This could be due to inherited genes or it could be because you were exposed to nervous behaviors and ideas while you were growing up, which made them normal and caused you to inherit them.
  • Health Problems: Anxiety can also be brought on by conditions like thyroid disorders, asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Anxiety disorder symptoms might also appear in people who are depressed. For instance, a person who has battled depression for a long time may begin to perform poorly at work. This may then result in tension at work, which could cause anxiety. Heavy drug, alcohol and other substance users experience anxiety issues as soon as the effects of the substance start to wear off (in withdrawal).
  • Personality qualities: Individuals with particular personality traits, such as control freaks or perfectionists, may occasionally experience problems with anxiety.
  •  Diet: Anxiety can also be caused by a diet that is excessively rich in caffeine and sweets. Limiting your intake of sugar and caffeine is a smart suggestion if you suffer from anxiety.

What Triggers Your Anxiety?

Steven Wright put it best: “You know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs and you lean too far so you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time...”

Living and functioning with anxiety can be hard. Knowing your anxiety triggers will make it easier for you to manage your anxiety, which will enhance your overall mental health and well-being. Fortunately, there are therapy and specialists available who are qualified to support individuals with anxiety in locating potential anxiety triggers, addressing them, and then overcoming them, which may involve taking treatment for anxiety and anxiety therapy, as directed. Let's begin by answering some of the common questions you might have regarding the common triggers of anxiety.  

“Does my diet affect my anxiety?”

People with Celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), lactose intolerance, or food allergies may experience anxiety after deviating from their doctor-approved diet. Anxiety, on the other hand, might have an impact on eating, as decreased appetite is extremely typical. In some situations, people may overeat to cope with their anxiety, resulting in weight gain and consequent appearance issues that can worsen their anxiety.

“Does my surroundings trigger my anxiety?” 

This one frequently shocks folks. Even though an untidy home environment doesn't always make people stressed out or anxious, it can have a significant impact on those who already struggle with anxiety. If you have anxiety, you might want to assess your living situation. Sometimes having a cluttered home might be a problem because it constantly appears on your to-do list. 

“What role does self-care play in my anxiety disorders ?”

Self-neglect and self-care are often difficult concepts to grasp, they are surprisingly prevalent in the world of worry. Anxiety can be brought on by disregarding your needs and taking care of yourself poorly. Sleep is also a form of self care hence working on 2 hours of sleep doesn't make you cool and also puts you at high risk for anxiety.  Often finances, no matter how well off you earn, can give some people anxiety and it is better to sit down and create a plan that is beneficial. Many people discover that having a plan, even a simple one, can dramatically lower their anxiety.

“When should I see a therapist for my anxiety?”

It's not always easy to distinguish between anxiety and a bad day that makes you feel upset or worried. Without treatment, your anxiety may persist and worsen over time. It is easier to treat anxiety and other mental health conditions early on rather than when symptoms worsen.

You should see a therapist if:

  • You have the impression that you are worrying so much that it is interfering with your daily life (including hygiene, school or work, and your social life)
  • Your anxiety, fear, or worry is distressing and difficult to control. You feel depressed, use alcohol or drugs to cope, or have other mental health concerns besides anxiety.
  • you are having suicidal thoughts or engaging in suicidal behavior (if so, seek immediate medical assistance by calling 911)

Guidance And Therapy For Anxiety (Self- Help And Treatment)

People often never seek anxiety treatment, because either they don’t realize they have anxiety or they don’t know that anxiety is curable. But when they do, therapy and other interventions prove fruitful. Diagnosis and therapy are crucial for anxiety disorders hence, it should be your first call of action. Anxiety disorders are typically treated with psychological counseling and therapy. This could involve cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or a mix of several therapy approaches.

Psychotherapy is the most common anxiety disorder treatment. It is to identify the underlying causes of an anxiety condition through discussions with a competent mental health expert. Sessions may examine potential coping techniques and anxiety triggers. The main two types of psychotherapy used for anxiety treatment are- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a sort of psychotherapy that can help you change your thinking and behaviors. CBT can help you identify the thinking patterns that cause your worry and anxiety, and then teach you how to change them and react to situations differently over time.

Exposure therapy is one CBT strategy that includes tackling your fears and worries head-on by participating in activities that you would normally avoid.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is the second most commonly used psychotherapy technique for anxiety. Instead of trying to modify your style of thinking, focus on embracing all of your thoughts and being able to sort through them carefully. There are no "negative thoughts" in ACT. It teaches you how to deal with both bad and happy ideas, which are inevitable in life.

This strategy is particularly beneficial to those who have difficulty confronting life's difficulties and challenges directly, preferring to suppress sensations and thoughts they would rather ignore. It provides them space to process what they're feeling and address their anxiety by learning to live with challenging feelings and allowing them to exist alongside happy feelings and thoughts.

Techniques For Stress Management

There are numerous stress management approaches that can be used to alleviate anxiety. These strategies are frequently used in conjunction with psychotherapy to assist improve its outcomes.

Most stress management techniques aim to quiet or still your mind in some way. Exercise is one effective way. Mindfulness and meditation can also help relieve your symptoms if you choose a less physically demanding approach.

You can practice relaxation and breathing techniques whenever you feel an oncoming anxiety or 

panic attack. There are many apps available online that can help you with meditation and anxiety management can be handy. 

Support Groups

Support groups can be an excellent source of connection and understanding. Anxiety disorders are a common problem that many people confront. It can be reassuring to know that you are not alone in your struggles, and it can be good to hear how other people deal with their anxiety and how well it works for them. Support groups, however, are not a substitute for anxiety treatments such as psychotherapy or medication. 

Therapy allows experts to sit and listen to you and curate a treatment plan that works best for you. 

How To Find The Best Anxiety Therapists?

Finding the right anxiety therapist can be an intimidating process, but with proper research and preparation, you will be able to make the right decision. 

  • You should consider looking for a therapist that specializes in treating anxiety-related disorders and has previous experience in helping people manage their symptoms. 
  • Check their credentials, including any professional licenses they may possess. 
  • Have an honest conversation with the prospective therapist prior to booking a session to determine whether they are the right fit for you. 
  • Explain why you are seeking therapy and ask about their expertise in order to ensure a successful therapeutic journey.

What Are The Questions You Need To Ask Your Anxiety Therapist?

What Are The Questions You Need To Ask Your Anxiety Therapist?


The three main components of treating an anxiety condition are psychological therapy for anxiety, medication, and dietary changes. Depending on the type of anxiety disorder they have and the existence of any underlying illnesses, each person will require a particular course of treatment.

The first step in resolving anxious feelings is self-management, which frequently include relaxation methods, an active lifestyle, and efficient time management. A person should think about talking to a doctor and looking into other therapy options if these steps do not regulate nervous reactions. A person should seek treatment for anxiety or therapy for anxiety if your nervous reactions are severe right away, for example, if you start to have panic attacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

The brain is a part of the central nervous system, which regulates how the body reacts to stress and anxiety. According to one idea, the amygdala, a region of the brain, overreacts abnormally in anxious persons to signals in their environment. Though they do not fully understand why it occurs, researchers suspect that genetic, biochemical, or psychological factors may be to blame.

A doctor will examine a patient for a variety of cognitive, physical, and behavioral symptoms to determine whether they have anxiety. A person must have particular symptoms listed in the DSM-5 in order to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The requirements for diagnosis change depending on the particular form of anxiety disorder.

An anxiety attack is a sharp increase in anxiety symptoms. It can be comparable to a panic attack, but usually not as severe. Long, deep breaths, spraying water on one's face, and repeating soothing phrases like "I am safe" are all techniques one can do to assist halt an anxiety attack.

You may always find the ideal anxiety therapist from a variety of online and offline platforms who is properly qualified and authorized in your state. You may get the greatest anxiety therapy from Lifebulb, where our knowledgeable anxiety therapists can point you in the correct way for creating a healthy and satisfying life. In addition to Alexandria, we also serve Edison, Toms River, Cherry Hill, and Alexandria with our in-person and online counseling services for anxiety.

How much does anxiety treatment cost?

For people without health insurance, a therapy session typically costs $60 to $120 for an hour-long session. For copays as low as $15, organizations provide accessible telebehavioral health services. Additionally, members have access to critical medical services like urgent care, lab tests, and more.

This goes into the topic of excessive worry and is a natural worry for those with GAD.

The best way to deal with this anxiety is to build a relationship with a therapist who you believe is paying attention to your specific worries and deliberately adjusting your therapy to your unique risks for developing certain medical issues.

This goes into the topic of excessive worry and is a natural worry for those with GAD.

The best way to deal with this anxiety is to build a relationship with a therapist who you believe is paying attention to your specific worries and deliberately adjusting your therapy to your unique risks for developing certain medical issues.

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