Causes of Anxiety

Simple Causes: The anxiety doesnít necessarily indicate any major psychological disorder. There are various simple causes:

  • Normal anxiety. If the anxiety is occurring in relation to a real, rational concern, such as a problem, risk, or threat, some level of anxiety is normal.
  • Excitement, anticipation. Feeling anxious about something that is about to happen, or is as yet undecided, can be quite rational.
  • Physical illness. There is a tendency for extra anxiety in response to an illness, such as a viral infection.
  • Poor diet. Having an inadequate diet can exacerbate anxiety, although itís not really a cause of anxiety by itself.
  • Sleep deprivation. Not having enough sleep tends to make people more likely to be anxious.
  • Changes to Routine. Some people, especially elderly people, become more anxious when their normal routine is changed or interrupted.
  • Hyperventilation. When a person hyperventilated (perhaps due to anxiety), this causes difficulty breathing, which exacerbates anxiety, and a vicious cycle can occur.
  • Nightmares and night terrors. A common cause of anxiety in children.

Other Similar Symptoms: Some causes of anxiety are probably found in the causes of other similar symptoms:

Substances Causing Anxiety: A number of different substances can cause anxiety, or can exacerbate existing feelings in an anxious person. Some examples include:

  • Caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine or caffeinated sodas can put people into a stimulated mental state where anxiety can increase.
  • Stimulant drugs. Any type of mental stimulant can increase a personís anxiety.
  • Illicit drug abuse
  • Amphetamine abuse.
  • Medication side-effect. Various prescription drugs can cause anxiety as a side-effect.

Mental Health Disorders: Anxiety that is extreme, or occurs too frequently, or in response to irrational concerns, may indicate a psychological disorder. Some possible causes include:

Read more about: Anxiety Disorders.

Heart Disorders: A number of severe heart disorders can provoke symptoms (e.g. chest pain, breathing difficulty) so severe that the person becomes in an agitated or anxious state. Milder physical symptoms can still provoke a level of anxiety. Some examples include:

Breathing Disorders: Any disorder where the person has difficulty breathing can put them into a state of anxiety, including even agitation and panic. Some examples include:

Read more about: Breathing Difficulty, Respiratory Distress

Episodic Recurring Anxiety: Some of the possible causes of intermittent or recurring episodic anxiety include:

Neurological Disorders: Various disorders of the brain may result in anxiety:

Other Causes: Various other physical diseases can cause anxiety, such as:

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.