The term, ‘Anxiety disorder’ does not refer to a specific disorder, but rather to a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear. There are a few examples of anxiety disorders stated in the last article and each of them will be explained in a more detailed manner in our next few articles.
Despite the amount of research conducted within the field, the causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood yet. This might be because the causes are usually a combination of more than one factors and the combinations may differ among individuals. Therefore, to understand why a person might be diagnosed with anxiety disorders is a matter that requires utmost care.
But, just for the sake of an illustration, here are a summary of some of the most common causes or precursors of anxiety disorders:
- Medical causes
Underlying health issues such as heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension and others might predispose one to anxious states of mind, or serve as a trigger to bouts of anxiety.
- On-going stressful events
Events that creates a stressful state of mind, such as sudden job-change or work-related stress, or an unexpected pregnancy, relationship problems, the loss of a loved one, etc. All these events can serve as either underlying factors that lead to the development of anxiety disorders, or as a sudden trigger.
- Substance abuse
Consuming too much of alcohols or drugs, can lead to anxious states of mind, and in some cases, even cause paranoia. People misuse drugs thinking that it can calm them down, and obtain relief from stress, when in actuality, drugs can worsen the problem.
- Personality factors
Individuals who have low self esteem, high neuroticism, low extraversion, being a perfectionist etc. These personality traits, when carried to an extreme level, will easily interfere with our normal functioning and hence, lead us to become more vulnerable to different disorders.
These are just four examples of the causes of anxiety disorders and there are many more factors that could possibly contribute to anxiety disorders.
If you have been following our previous project, DE:project, which focuses particularly on depression, you will realize that most of the causes of mental disorders do share a lot of similarities. This is because everything that happened inside our body, the events happening around us, and our past experiences, all of these contribute to make the person that we are today. And this is also true for mental disorders, as different aspects of our life and our experiences all contribute to form the core of our suffering, and the causes of these mental disorders must also be examined in such a fashion.
However, this does not imply that it is not important to study the very specific causes of anxiety disorders. Every single study and research conducted since the advent of psychology as a field of scientific research is like a small brick that when piled together, form the foundation of the knowledge that we learn and teach to other eager minds interested in this field. Regardless of the trials and tribulations, as well as the wrong turns and erroneous conclusions reached along the way on our search for truth, all these are part of the process, and perhaps one day, we would fully connect the dots on such mysteries as the causes to mental disorders, and then, we could help more.
Until then, let us be conscious in our life.