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Causes of Anxiety



Research and clinical interviews indicate that family history of anxiety correlates with increased risk. Some develop anxiety in childhood, often around potty training or separation from their mothers, due to her working or their attending school.

Neurochemical Factors

  • Other illnesses, whether mental or physical.
  • Hormonal changes like PMS, menopause, post-partum instability, can all contribute
  • Malnutrition, low blood sugar (especially hypoglycemia), and deficient levels of calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, or vitamin D.
  • Side effects of medication.
  • Drug use. Stimulants like amphetamines or even caffeine are known to raise anxiety levels. Even the effects of some depressants (e.g. marijuana) can result in heightened levels of anxiety.

Environmental Factors

  • Adversity and loss.
  • Major life changes (divorce, job loss, moving, etc.).
  • Trauma.
  • Childhood experiences.
    • attempting to live up to excessively high standards
    • having grown up in the absence of support or nurturing
    • being raised as a doormat, forbidden from being assertive
    • exposure to frequent separation anxiety
  • Stress of various types
    • workplace deadlines and interpersonal strife
    • academic pressure
    • financial trouble
    • personal relationship difficulties
    • concern over medical conditions, or even about anxiety itself

Psychological & Behavioral Factors

  • Unhealthy beliefs.
  • Negativity and fixation on fears.
  • Suppressed emotions.
  • Irrational, delusional, pessimistic thinking patterns.
  • Detrimental beliefs and needs. E.g.:
    • desperate need for the approval of others, even personally insignificat people
    • a driving urge to bring justice to those perceived as evil due to differing value systems
    • feeling your personal worth is contingent on your achievements and competence
    • experience crisis whenever things don't go your way
    • needing to depend on someone else seen as stronger
    • being slave to one's negative past experiences
    • seeing the world as a scary, unsafe place