Anxiety is a natural feeling that occurs during stress. This feeling can become a concern, however, when it is overly difficult to simply get through the day without worries stopping you in your tracks. When it reaches such a point, anxiousness becomes a real disorder and it can affect people of all ages. There are other disorders that can seem similar, such as bipolar disorder or depression, but there is a difference in the details. If it is possible that you or someone you care about has such a disorder, read on to get a bit of a better understanding.
You might be wondering, what causes anxiety disorders? Well, honestly, the causes are poorly understood. They may be caused by genetics, or other risk factors. One risk is having a timid or negative personality, especially if it makes one avoid dangers (no matter how small!). Statistically, another risk is simply being a woman. Estrogen and progesterone in women makes the fight-or-flight response last longer than in men. Also, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there is some evidence that suggests that women’s brains do not process serotonin as quickly as that of men’s. A third risk is having an underlying medical problem. Some medical anxiety causes include heart disease, diabetes, and seizures, along with thyroid problems and asthma. Other conditions are drug abuse and withdrawal, hormonal problems (that may be related to rare tumors), and muscle cramps or spasms. It is also believed that a brain chemistry malfunction can be the source of the disorder.
Anxiety, depression, and bipolar symptoms all fall under mood disorders. Anxiety is more about fear and apprehension, while depression is more about pessimism and hopelessness. Bipolar disorder can have lows like depression, but then all of a sudden it will go through highs and is more like a pendulum of emotions that has unusual shifts. What confuses matters is that depression and anxiety disorders may be treated in the same way, with antidepressants. But when it comes to what causes anxiety disorders, the symptoms can diminish over time through making a concerted effort to change one’s lifestyle or by learning to cope in alternative ways. Relaxation techniques are one form of coping with what may be a long-term challenge.
To emphasize the distinction between an anxiety disorder and depression, it may help to think of the beliefs that are associated with each. People with social anxiety symptoms tend to believe that the things that can go wrong will go wrong, and people with depression tend to believe that nothing can improve their life or make things right. In other words, depression is more about the past and anxiety is more about the future. It can also help to think of the feelings. Anxiety is a fast heartbeat, feeling panicky, and sweating from fear, while depression is a lack of feeling and sensation – there is a lack of energy and no motivation to get up. As you can see, each disorder has its nuances and it is best to seek out a medical professional from a pharmacy to get a greater understanding of what causes anxiety disorders and the best way to confront the symptoms.