Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorder

Like many mental disorders, the cause of anxiety disorder is not fully understood. In some people, it can develop after a very stressful and traumatic event, while in some people it can occur without a reason.

Among the risk factors that can cause anxiety disorders are; environmental stress factors, genetic predispositions, complications due to other diseases, irregularities in brain chemistry, neurobiological factors, experiences, especially traumatic experiences, personality traits and temperament of the individual.

What Causes Anxiety Disorder? What are the Causes of Anxiety? What is the Main Source?

The answer to these questions is; The exact cause of anxiety disorder is unknown. Anxiety can occur for many different reasons, but in general, it occurs when more than one stressor (the thing that gives stress) comes together. The scientific world, on the other hand, focuses on two possible reasons. The first is genetic predisposition, and the second is traumatic life events. At the same time, researches; reveals that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in anxiety disorders that occur in childhood. Researchers state that traumatic events, especially experienced at an early age, cause sensitivity in the fear processing mechanisms of individuals, causing them to become hypersensitive to stress triggers.

Anxiety; Usually, the individual tries to imprison the individual in a vicious circle with lies that he cannot realize or have difficulty in realizing, and I regret to say that anxiety can achieve this without any difficulty. Especially if the individual has a genetic predisposition; Any traumatic event experienced reveals this predisposition. If the traumatic event that has occurred makes the individual believe that the world is not a safe place, that’s when anxiety begins.

Although anxiety is not defined as a hereditary disease, genetic predisposition is among the risk factors as I mentioned above. Of course, having a genetic predisposition does not necessarily mean that they will develop an anxiety disorder. From this point of view, the impact of environmental factors, which is another factor, is undeniable. In anxiety disorders, it has been determined by studies that the rate of any individual in the family having an anxiety disorder to affect the development of similar disorders in other members of the family is between 30-67%. Studies have shown that even small changes in individuals’ gene structures increase susceptibility to anxiety disorder. Some of these genes are associated with stress hormone regulation.

Again, researches explain another of the causes of anxiety disorder as follows. If there are some medical problems in the biology and metabolism of the individual, these are among the causes of anxiety or contribute to the formation of anxiety. So these medical problems; It serves as a building block in the formation of some scenarios in the individual’s sub-cognition. In particular, the main messages of the scenarios are as follows. The first one is the “the world is not a safe place” scenario, which is one of the indispensable scenarios of anxiety. The second is; It’s the “something bad can happen to me at any moment” scenario. Notice that these are both thoughts, not feelings.

What Medical Conditions Can Cause Anxiety?

If the individual;

-Heart diseases,



-Sleep problems

-Eating problems

-Chronic pains,

-Dependence or withdrawal,

– Respiratory problems such as asthma,

Thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism

-Cancer etc,

if there are problems; The individual realizes anxiety more easily than other people. In their sub-cognitions, a scenario like this can pass; “I had a disease like this before, but what if I have the same disease again?” With such a thought, the individual can step into the spiral of anxiety step by step. At the same time, if the individual has a chronic stress, a chronic health problem, menopause, or has had a serious illness similar to the above, and has taken care of a patient at home for a long time, these can also cause anxiety. If there is an existing physical illness or complaint rather than a past experience, these can also cause anxiety. For this, such disorders need to be detected and eliminated. Otherwise, anxiety and physical discomfort can trigger each other and turn into a situation that is really difficult to get out of.

Is anxiety disorder more common in women or men?

It is possible to show being a “woman” among the risk factors for anxiety disorder. According to statistics, anxiety disorders are more common in women than in men. Being divorced or widowed is also a risk factor for both sexes.

What are the Environmental Risk Factors in Anxiety?

  • Having limited economic resources,

  • Problems in school, workplace, family and social environment,

  • relationship problems,

  • Domestic conflict and disharmony

Which Individuals Are More Prone to Anxiety?

  • Those who were raised by anxious, overprotective, controlling and critical parents.

  • Those who have shyness, shyness, and negative emotion tendencies that start in childhood,

  • Those who have been exposed to stressful life events since childhood,

  • Those who have experienced childhood traumas,

  • Those who experienced chronic stress in childhood,

  • Those who have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused,

  • Those who are exposed to situations such as early parental loss or early separation/abandonment with parents,

  • People who always get negative reactions from their environment and who are digested,

  • Those who are afraid of strangers, withdraw themselves, do not communicate,

  • Those who have negative thoughts such as lack of self-confidence, being the subject of ridicule,

  • Individuals who feel under pressure

  • Those who feel worthless

  • natural disaster victims,

  • Those who have suffered a major accident,

  • Those who lost a loved one,

  • Those who do not feel the feeling of being loved,

  • Those who have had test anxiety in the past,

  • Those who have experienced or witnessed an event that has a traumatic effect,

  • Those who have undergone major surgery

  • Those who think excessively about the health of themselves and their loved ones,

possible to list. If you notice, almost all of them are related to traumatic life. However, it should be noted that; It is not possible to say that all individuals with these characteristics will experience anxiety disorder. In such individuals there is only a predisposition. Perhaps this predisposition will remain as it is in the person and will not be revealed for a lifetime. Therefore, there is no definite rule that people with these characteristics will experience anxiety.

NOTE: This is my third article together with this article I wrote about anxiety. My previous first article was about what anxiety means. My second article was about what the symptoms of anxiety disorder are. Before this article, I recommend you to read my other two articles.

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