What Are Common Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

While it’s normal to feel anxious sometimes, excessive and ongoing anxiety and worry that can interfere with your everyday activities can be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. To prevent it from getting severe, it’s important to know the common signs of having this illness.

Here are some causes of generalized anxiety disorder:

Top 4 Reasons for Having Generalized Anxiety Disorder

1. Trauma

Trauma is the emotional and psychological response to a disturbing or distressing experience. Emotional and psychological trauma are usually caused by either a single or ongoing event. A person can experience a set of possible responses whether they are a witness or if they are personally involved.

A person can experience just one symptom of trauma or they can experience all of them. Everyone is different, and the number of the symptoms a person experiences doesn’t determine their strength or weakness. Some symptoms of trauma include:

  • Irritability, anxiety, gloom or negativity
  • Shock, guilt or denial
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Numbness
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Recurring memories
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits

Most of these feelings are a normal part of recovering from a traumatic event. Sometimes, these feelings seem to just continue without signs of diminishing. When this continues, it’s important to make necessary help like support groups or a crisis intervention platform.

man stressed on laptop

2. Stress buildup

A buildup of smaller stressful life events can trigger excessive anxiety. It can be stress at work, ongoing worry or a death in the family. One study shows that 33% of adults experience possible depression and 64% possible anxiety. Physical effects of too much stress include:

  • Acne

This is one of the most visible ways that stress can manifest. When people are stressed, they tend to touch their faces more that can spread bacteria and contribute to the development of severe acne.

  • Headaches

Many studies have shown that stress can cause pain in the head or neck region. Since our bodies react to a ‘fight or flight’ response, it releases certain chemicals that can cause tension to the head. Ergonomic issues like poor posture and eye strain can also cause tension headaches.

  • Frequent sickness

Stress can take a toll on your immune system and cause constant sickness. Chronic stress and constant exposure to emotional events can cause psychogenic fever. It’s caused by psychological factors instead of a virus or bacteria.

 3. Differences in brain chemistry and function

If a person has brain abnormalities like in a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid, it can make them more prone to generalized anxiety disorder. Early life traumas and current life events can trigger episodes of anxiety. Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that help with the communication between your nerve cells like norepinephrine and serotonin.

It’s been said that mental health conditions like anxiety and depression are caused by chemical imbalance in the brain. Insufficient levels of neurotransmitters can lead to feelings of helplessness, overeating or loss of appetite, restlessness or insomnia or sleeping too much.

The exact cause of mental health conditions is still unclear. It can be caused by environmental and social factors or genetics. Although the chemical imbalance theory is often disproven, it’s often presented as the explanation for mental health conditions. For instance, depression is said to result from low levels of serotonin, but the theory lacks explanation on how the chemicals become imbalanced.

4. Genetics

Some research noted that anxiety has certain hereditary connections and some chromosomal characteristics are connected to panic disorder and phobias. It also showed that panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder are all linked to specific genes. Generalized anxiety disorder can also be inherited, and associated conditions are being linked to different genes.

A person can be predisposed to developing symptoms of mental health conditions. For instance, a person can be more likely to develop generalized anxiety disorder if there are genetic markers that have been passed on to them. Vulnerability and certain factors can trigger the development of the symptoms.

People who were raised by parents with anxiety can lower their risk of having an anxiety disorder by managing anxiety with effective stress management procedures. If you’re a parent with anxiety, it’s more beneficial to teach your kids about this as early as possible. You can learn certain techniques in calming the mind such as proper breathing, mindfulness, and exercise.

It’s important to learn the cause of generalized anxiety disorder to understand the illness more and know the signs leading up to it. Living with generalized anxiety disorder can also occur with other mood disorders and anxiety. Learn how to cope with it and make lifestyle changes to help prevent severe anxiety.

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