What Causes Anxiety?

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What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that we all experience. It can be triggered by many different things, but the most common cause of anxiety is stress. Stress can come in many forms—from personal problems to work-related issues. If you’re feeling anxious about something going on in your life, it’s important to talk with someone who can help you figure out what caused it and how best to deal with it moving forward

Stressful life events

Stressful life events may be a trigger for anxiety, but they can also contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder. They can also cause symptoms in people who don’t have an anxiety disorder.

For example, if you’re stressed out about money and unable to pay your bills on time because you’ve been laid off from work or are experiencing financial difficulties due to unemployment, these events could make it difficult for you to get through each day without feeling overwhelmed by fear and worry. It’s important not only that you understand what stressful life events are (and how they affect those around them), but also that you understand how they affect yourself personally—and how they may play into your personal sense of self worth as well!

Changes in hormone levels

You may be wondering why hormones are important to your anxiety. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate many aspects of the body, including mood and behavior. In some cases, they can affect how your brain functions—and in others, they’re responsible for many other physiological functions as well.

When stress levels increase or decrease rapidly during a person’s life (for example, when you move from one place to another), it can trigger changes in hormone levels that influence their behavior: increased stress can lead to higher levels of cortisol (a hormone released by the adrenal glands), while decreased stress causes decreased production of this same hormone.[1] In turn, these fluctuations will likely have an impact on overall health and well-being.[2]

Your genes.

Your genes are a big part of why you’re anxious. They influence the way your body works and the way your brain functions, which can lead to anxiety disorders or other mental health issues.

  • Your genes may influence the way your body responds to stress: If there’s a gene variant that makes people more likely to be anxious in stressful situations, then they’ll be more likely than others to develop an anxiety disorder later on in life—especially if they’ve grown up with parents who also have this gene variant.
  • Your genes also affect how much stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released when you’re under pressure: When we’re feeling fearful or stressed out (like during an exam), our bodies release these hormones as a defense mechanism against danger; however—and here comes where our bad news starts coming together with good news—if those same hormones aren’t regulated properly by certain biological processes within us (i.e., not enough), then those same responses can cause problems down the road!

Your personality.

Personality is a set of characteristics that make you unique. Some people are more prone to anxiety than others, and certain personality traits can cause anxiety in particular individuals. For example, neuroticism—a personality trait characterized by emotional instability and sensitivity to stress—can increase your chances for developing an anxiety disorder.

If you’re a highly neurotic person who feels anxious about almost everything, it might be time to explore your options for treatment!

Being overly dependent on drugs and/or alcohol.

Being overly dependent on drugs and/or alcohol.

  • Alcohol and drugs can cause anxiety. They are two of the most common causes of anxiety, but not everyone who uses them will experience panic attacks. Some people may only feel anxious while they are under the influence of these substances, while others may feel anxious after their use has ceased as well. Caffeine is another substance that can lead to an increase in anxiety symptoms as well as panic attacks if consumed in excess amounts over time.

Having a serious medical condition.

Anxiety is a common symptom of a number of medical conditions, including:

  • Anxiety can be a side effect of some medications. For example, the anti-anxiety drug buspirone can cause anxiety in some people who take it.
  • An anxious person could have a physical problem with their brain or nervous system (e.g., an overactive thyroid).
  • Cancer treatment might cause anxiety because it affects the nervous system and makes you feel sicker than usual—but this doesn’t mean that you have cancer! If your doctor thinks you may have cancer, she’ll work with you to find out what’s causing your symptoms so that she can treat them effectively and safely.

Ingesting too much caffeine or other stimulants, including some over-the-counter cold medications.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause anxiety. It’s also a common trigger for insomnia and other mental health issues.

For example, if you already have anxiety, caffeine may make your symptoms worse by triggering an adrenaline response that further interferes with sleep.

A family history of mental health disorders.

Anxiety can be caused by a number of factors, but genetics plays a role in mental health. If you have a family member with mental health issues, you’re more likely to develop them yourself.

Family members can help each other by sharing their experiences and coping strategies with one another.


If you have had anxiety for a long time, it is important to know that there are things you can do to help yourself. We hope this article has helped you understand why anxiety happens and what causes it. Remember that there are many different types of treatment options available for people with anxiety disorders, so if one isn’t working for you try another!


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