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Generalized Anxiety Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Panic Attack Causes, Chronic Anxiety Causes, Anxiety Disorder Causes, Severe Anxiety Disorder Anxiety Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Causes are numerous, as follows:

Familial Pattern

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is closely associated with familial predisposition. There were twin studies conducted that are highly suggestive of the role of genetics in the formation of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The genetic factors identified were also closely related to those causing major depressive disorders.3

Substance Induced

Almost half of the individuals seeking treatment involving mood and anxiety disorders are often due to substance dependence. Generalized Anxiety Disorder often exists before a person becomes substance dependent; however substance dependency encourages the anxiety disorder into a more prolonged state thereby progressing into a chronic anxiety condition.

Co-morbid Factors

The presence of another mood disorder such as Dysthymic Disorder or major depressive disorder, other anxiety disorders such as social phobia, Panic Disorder and other specific phobia, and substance-related disorders such as drug and alcohol dependence, can always harbor the development of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Stress related disorders can also be a pre-disposing factor to chronic anxiety.

Brain Neurotransmitters

The actions of two chemicals namely serotonin and norepinephrine were linked to a possible cause of the occurrence of chronic anxiety, as well as depression and other mood disorders. Prescription drugs that affect the actions of these neurochemicals in the brain can help one reduce or eliminate the symptoms of chronic anxiety.4

The Amygdala

Researchers focus their attention on the amygdala, a brain structure which is responsible for the communication and processing of incoming brain signals to other parts of the brain that interpret them. If the amygdala is not functioning well it might bring threatening signals to the brain thereby causing the symptoms of anxiety.

Medical Conditions

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cardiac Disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Heart Attack
  • Tachycardia
  • Pulmonary Embolus
  • Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Others (Potential Risk Factors)

  • Stressful Situations
  • Painful Past Experiences
  • Environmental Factors
  • Body’s Biological Processes
  • Specific Medical Conditions such as Hyperthyroidism
  • Coping with a Illness
  • Personality Type of a Person
  • A History of Anxiety Disorder in the Family
  • Individuals with High Blood Pressure and Diabetes Where Anxiety Disorder is Very Common

Could You Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Panic Disorder – Panic Attack, Anxiety, Anticipatory Attacks
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Nightmares, Insomnia, Sexual Abuse, Irritation, Social Impairment, Problems with Memory and Concentration, Intrusive Memories, Hyper-Vigilance
Social Anxiety Disorder – Social Anxiety, Impaired Functional Ability, Chronic Fear of Being Humiliated in Public, Panic Attack