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Causes and Risk Factors


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Anxiety can come from a number of causes or a combination of them. For one thing, you might be genetically predisposed to anxiety because it runs in families. It’s also more likely to affect women, people who were shy as children, people who’ve experienced stressful events in their lives and people who are economically disadvantaged. Some behavioral choices that you make might also be influencing the extent to which you’re experiencing anxiety too, because using alcohol or caffeine or other substances can cause or worsen anxiety. Our relationship to our environment can also play a role, which means that as we experience stressful situations or major obligations in our life that produce stress, that stress can mount and over time develop into an anxiety disorder – especially if we feel that we aren’t up to the challenge that they pose to us. Now, if that happens and we develop anxiety, then there’s an additional risk, which is that 60% of people who develop anxiety also then go on to experience a major depressive episode – a form of depression. It so happens that people who experience both anxiety and depression tend not to fair as well in the long run as people who experience just one or the other. So please: if you’re experiencing any symptoms of anxiety (or depression for that matter) please contact a mental health professional so they can help you understand what it is you’re experiencing and help you devise a plan to feel better.

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