The Cause of Anxiety:
Understanding Opens the Door to Recovery

Understanding the cause of anxiety will help you more than you realize. It is through this understanding that you will be able to personalize the skills to meet your own needs in your own recovery journey.

What causes anxiety?

Believe it or not, too much stress is the cause of anxiety! By keeping your stress in check, you will keep your anxiety at bay!

According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, anxiety is defined as :

"A painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill : fearful concern or interest : an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it"

Anxiety has physical and emotional symptoms that can be very uncomfortable. Many times anxiety symptoms are scary, especially if you don't understand what is going on inside you, and this can be the trigger for the Fight or Flight Response.

The cause of anxiety can also trigger the stress response in the body. Also known as the stress response, this is when the body gets ready to protect itself by either fighting or fleeing. Fight or Flight is a normal and a very helpful response to real external threats. However, this response is not helpful when you are in situations that are not dangerous or threatening. When we feel the effects of the fight or flight response, we automatically assume there is a real threat and when we realize that there is no actual threat around us , we then fear that something is wrong inside of us. This is when fear becomes internalized and we began to fear there is something wrong with our bodies or minds. It is important to learn the 3 different levels to the fight or flight response.

At one time, fight or flight was a much needed survival mechanism. It prepared individuals to fight or run from external threats in order to survive. Today, there isn't as much a need for this built in survival tool, but for many, fight or flight is still triggered by false threats that are started in our imagination. No matter how we look at it, the inappropriate activation of the stress response can have negative physiological and psychological effects.

What is an anxiety disorder?

Although anxiety is a common emotion along with fear, anger, sadness, and happiness; When anxiety is chronic and interferes with the ability to cope with everyday life, it is considered to be a disorder.

There are 5 major types of anxiety disorders and each one has specific characteristics of their own.

1. Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

3. Social Anxiety Disorder

4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms of Anxiety - This section goes over the many different symptoms of anxiety. These are the most common, however, you may experience something different that is not listed here.

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