April 16th, 2010
Have you or someone you love been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and are trying to learn all you can about it? One of the things that you will want to learn about is some of the main causes of generalized anxiety disorders, even the ones that you may have no control over. Knowing what the causes are can help you overcome some of the main symptoms of an anxiety disorder and get back to living a normal life once more. So, let’s take a look at some of the main causes of GAD, even those that you have no control over, so you can start understanding more about what treatments might offer the best help.
1. Hereditary: Research has shown lately that generalized anxiety disorders may run in family histories and can be much worse during stressful times. Since a generalized anxiety disorder tends to start at an early age and work itself into a full-blown condition later in life, it might take a stressful event as an adult (such as a divorce, death of a family member, or deployment) for the disorder to develop. Once GAD is developed, it is a chronic condition but can be maintained and treated.
2. Stressful Events: While it seems that many people may be predisposed to having a generalized anxiety disorder, sometimes a stressful event can bring it to light. These things can be as serious as a death in the family, deployment, or divorce, or they can be smaller things, such as getting a bad grade in school. No, you cannot always avoid every stressful situation in life, but you can learn to deal with them better as they come along so anxiety does not begin to rule your life.
3. Drug Use: There have been studies that have shown that drug use, (either illegal or prescription), can actually be a trigger for generalized anxiety disorder. While it may simply be a side effect and go away after the person stops using the drug, it can also be a lasting effect that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
4. Pregnancy: Sometimes women can develop a generalized anxiety disorder during or after pregnancy. This can go hand-in-hand with postpartum depression, and you can work with your doctor to find the right treatments that help you.
5. Thyroid: People with thyroid problems can develop generalized anxiety disorders as a result of both medications and constant worry. If you have a thyroid problem, you should discuss with your doctor any options for dealing with a GAD if you should develop one or treatments if you already have one.
6. Chronic Respiratory Problems (like asthma): Those with chronic breathing problems can develop a generalized anxiety disorder as they may worry more about dying or embarrassment due to a breathing problem in public. Also, some medications used to treat these types of chronic respiratory problems can cause these disorders as well. Make sure that you talk with your doctor if you have any type of chronic breathing problems before you start or stop a treatment, as it might affect your maintenance medications.
7. High Stress Levels: While many people have stressful events throughout their lives, those that have high stress levels for a long time can easily develop a generalized anxiety disorder. They begin to worry about these stressful events constantly, even when one is not present, and begin to obsess with this worry to the point that they develop severe anxiety.
While these are only a few of the causes and triggers for generalized anxiety disorders, there are many that are not mentioned in this article. There may be smaller things that trigger panic attacks or severe anxiety for you, and you should always be on the lookout for what they are so you can anticipate them. Once you know what triggers your anxiety and panic attacks, it is easier for you to head them off with treatments.