Potential Causes of Anxiety Disorders (An Infographic)
While anxiety and stress can seem synonymous with each other, there are actually a few key differences. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), stress is common – sometimes healthy – and everyone experiences stress at some time or another. Stress will be caused by a “stressor” – an external factor causing the feeling of stress. On the other hand, anxiety is a reaction to stress, and can occur even after the “stressor” is long gone. This can manifest into an anxiety disorder, which can interfere with someone’s daily life.
There are a number of different factors that can cause, or at least increase the likelihood, of someone developing anxiety. For example, anxiety can come as a result of a medication’s unwanted side effects, or if an individual finds themselves abusing substances. A poor or imbalanced diet can even spur the onset of an anxiety disorder, or – on the flip side – abusing weight loss supplements.
If you are finding yourself feeling anxious, there are few practices that may help calm or stabilize your mood. First of all, take careful not to confuse your feelings of stress with having an anxiety disorder. Ask yourself if there’s a reason for your stress. For example, an important test at school or presentation at work is valid and healthy reasons for feeling stressed.
For some, these feelings of stress can even act as a motivator to perform better, so stress could be seen as a beneficial thing. However, if you are feeling overwhelmingly stressed or anxious about regular events – such as feeling extreme levels of anxiety over leaving your home – it’s possible that these are symptoms of a potential anxiety disorder. To reduce levels of anxiety, take up a recreational activity such as hiking, yoga, or exercise. Mindfulness meditation is also a good option.
Additionally, utilizing tactics such as aromatherapy can also go a long way towards combating symptoms. Lastly, if you are finding yourself unable to cope with the anxiety, it can be extremely helpful to seek out a specialized therapist who can guide you towards recovery.
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