Anxiety disorders are a common condition.
The most common cause of this condition is thought to be genetic. Thus the condition often runs in the families.
Stress factors tend to aggravate and precipitate the condition in some patients.
Triggers of Anxiety
The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown. However, research has pinpointed certain possible triggers.
Causes of anxiety disorders may be summarized as follows (1, metformin and lyrica 2, 3, 4) –
- Genes – Inherited genes may determine the propensity to get anxiety disorders.
- Sex – Women are more prone to anxiety disorders than men.
- Anxiety disorders may also be triggered by a particularly stressful event.
This is seen in patients with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A traumatic experience (e.g. sexual or physical injury or harm in the past) may lead to fears and anxiety later in life.
- Some drugs of abuse like amphetamines, LSD or ecstasy and even coffee may lead to attacks of anxiety.
- A significant experience like loss of job, pregnancy or moving house may lead to anxiety precipitation.
Underlying pathophysiology (3, 4, 5)
Anxiety disorders are caused due to an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. These are actually chemical messengers that carry information within the brain and are called neurotransmitters.
Two neurotransmitters that relate to anxiety disorders are serotonin and noradrenaline.
The misbalance of these neurotransmitters leads to certain physical and mood changes and manifestations.
The most common problem is low serotonin and high noradrenaline.
Disruption of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system in the brain is another underlying cause of anxiety disorders.
In Obsessive compulsive disorders another neurotransmitter dopamine might play a role.
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Last Updated: May 31, 2019
Dr. Ananya Mandal
Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.
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