Understanding Three Common Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety doesn’t arise without valid reasons; rather, it usually stems from these major contributing factors:

  • Genetics: Your natural inheritance
  • Parenting: How you were raised
  • Trauma: Terrible events that happened in the past

Studies establish that people with unexpected trauma may not always suffer anxiety later in life. That’s because this mental condition is also affected by two other causes, genes and parenting. Of course, certain people may seem to be almost unaffected to anxiety, however it is possible that they still can suffer a severe blow that disrupts their abilities to lead a normal life. Anxiety treatment doesn’t actually require knowledge of how or where anxiety sprang up. The remedies change only slightly for those who have hereditary anxiety or those who acquired it later.

Understanding the source of your anxiety may help you realize that having anxiety isn’t your own fault. Self-blame and guilt can sap your energy. They can distract your effort toward recovery and drain valuable resources. By contrast, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness motivate and even significantly energize your efforts.

Genetic Factor

If you have excessive tension and worries, observe your immediate family members and relatives. If at least a quarter of your relatives suffer your symptoms then you may have hereditary anxiety. But there’s also a possibility that your family lives in an anxiety-inducing neighborhood. So, perhaps, there’s nothing wrong with your genes.

Various scientists have studied twins and siblings who live together in the same place to verify whether hereditary factor can affect people experience and induce anxiety. It was found that identical twins were more likely to have a similar type of anxiety than dizygotic twins (fraternal twins). But, even if you are genetically predisposed toward anxiety, there are factors – such as peers, environment, and parenting style – that can get into the mix.

Parenting Style

Blaming parents for your emotional ailments is always easy. Parents tried their best to give you a good life. Raising children was a formidable task and your parents could do plenty of unintentional mistakes along the way. So in many cases, parents are blamed more than they deserve. However, parents do hold the biggest responsibility for how children were brought up.

These parenting styles may foster anxiety:

Over-protecting parents: They shield their children from every imaginable harm or stress. If their children stumble, they quickly swoop them up before their children get hurt. When their children get upset, they’ll quickly find ways to fix the problem. As the result, children are unable to deal with frustration, anxiety, or fear on their own.

Over-controlling parents: They micro-manage kids’ activities. They direct all details from how they take a bath to how they figure out arithmetic problems. They fertilize dependency and discourage independence.

Inconsistent parents: They give unclear limits and rules. One day, they show compassionate understanding when their children have trouble with science project; the next day, they get furious when their children ask for a little help with homework. These children fail to identify the connection between a predictable outcome and their own efforts. Therefore, they can’t control things that happens in life and more likely to get anxious.

If you understand how you were raised, it could be easier for therapist to help you in working with your condition.

Unexpected Trauma

The world is now moving faster than we can react, and our hectic life has slowly inched upward instead of the other way around. Our life is riddled with both danger and complexity. Perhaps that’s the reason why mental-health therapists see more anxious people than ever before. These are four unexpected events that can set off anxiety, even in those who have never suffered it before:

Unanticipated threats: Stability and predictability counteract anxiety; chaos and uncertainty fuel it. For example, you work 50 hours a week just to make a decent living. Regardless of your best effort, you still live from paycheck to paycheck and there is no saving that can protect you from rainy days. A freak accident on sidewalk cripples you for two months, and as you don’t have enough sick leave, your company refuses to pay your salary, it is a good thing they don’t terminate your employment. However, you worry obsessively over your ability to pay bills and debts. And when you return to work, you worry even more due to bigger financial burden.

Escalating demands: Having subjected with too much expectation and responsibility can induce anxiety. You initially believed that you’re lucky to get an once-in-a-lifetime offer to head the marketing division. You may have doubled your salary, but corporate goals, expectations, responsibilities and more complexities are coming along with it. You begin to fret and worry. You’re getting anxious that you’ll fail to meet the new challenges.

Confidence killers: Unforeseen critiques and rejections can certainly spark off anxiety. You have a good life and feel happy about your upcoming wedding. However, you are stunned when your fiancé backs out and postpone the wedding to an indefinite date. Now, you worry incessantly about the future of your relationship.

Terrifying trauma: No one wants to get a frightful or even near-death experience. Regrettably, these bitter pills in life do happen. Terrible accidents, diseases, natural disasters, violence and crime have occurred throughout human history, and they can happen in our lives. When they do, serious anxiety problems may emerge. Thus, war veterans or natural disaster survivors often have PTSD or residual anxiety for subsequent years.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks to C. Jacoby. Article keeps it short and easy to understand, unlike some others I have read. Seems to me the most important factor is the genetic factor.

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