One of the most common reasons people feel anxious, on-edge, worried, or tense is that an external concern is on their mind. Stress at work or school difficulties in a personal relationship and financial concerns, are all examples of external causes of anxiety. Experiencing a traumatic event, like a car accident or battlefield combat, is another common example. Yet another potential external precursor to anxious feelings is using illegal recreational drugs, like cocaine or LSD. And even legal, prescription drugs may have this unwanted emotional side effect. On the other hand, a person with anxiety may have an internal, physical reason for their symptoms. Common anxiety symptoms - like heart palpitations, tremors, and shortness of breath - could actually point to a physical condition. For example, a rapidly beating heart could be a sign of a heart condition and shortness of breath could be related to asthma. On the flip side, having a physical condition like this could lead to the development of anxious feelings. Any of these factors may cause short-term, mild anxiety. But for some people, that normal anxiety balloons into a serious mental disorder. Among the individuals most predisposed to anxiety disorders are those with a history of mental illness in their family. Additionally, many people with recurrent anxiety have a chemical imbalance in their brains that makes it hard to regulate emotions properly. Personality also plays a roll. Individuals with low self-esteem and poor coping mechanisms are more prone to anxiety disorders. And, of course, many people who develop anxiety disorders have a history of traumatic or disturbing external factors in their pasts. While there are clearly many causes for anxiety, there are also many treatment options! Medications, therapy, and hypnosis are just a few of the ways in which doctors treat anxiety disorders. So if you think your own anxious feelings could point to an anxiety disorder, make an appointment to discuss them with your physician!
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012