Common causes / risk factors

  1. Genetics: There is evidence to suggest that genetics play a significant role in the development of anxiety disorders. Individuals with a family history of anxiety disorders are at a higher risk of developing one themselves.
  2. Brain chemistry: Imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), are thought to contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Changes in brain structure and function, particularly in areas involved in emotional processing and regulation, may also play a role.
  3. Environmental factors: Stressful or traumatic life events, such as abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, or major life changes, can increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Chronic stress or exposure to stressful environments may also contribute.
  4. Personality traits: Certain personality traits, such as neuroticism or a tendency to worry excessively, may predispose individuals to anxiety disorders. Perfectionism, low self-esteem, and a lack of assertiveness are also associated with increased risk.
  5. Childhood experiences: Early experiences, including attachment patterns, parenting style, and exposure to adverse childhood events, can influence the development of anxiety disorders later in life. Children who grow up in environments characterized by unpredictability, instability, or overprotection may be more vulnerable.
  6. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, or chronic pain, can be associated with increased anxiety symptoms. Additionally, the presence of a chronic illness or disability may exacerbate anxiety symptoms or increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder.
  7. Substance abuse: Misuse of drugs or alcohol can contribute to the development or exacerbation of anxiety disorders. Substance abuse can disrupt brain chemistry, increase feelings of stress and anxiety, and lead to maladaptive coping strategies.
  8. Trauma exposure: Exposure to traumatic events, such as natural disasters, accidents, or violence, can increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related disorders.

Phobias Specific Phobia Agoraphobia

Social Anxiety Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder Separation Anxiety