Causes of anxiety

The body’s response to a dangerous situation, anxiety is desirable at times because it is a ‘fight or flight’ mechanism.

However, when individuals continue to deal with the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism even under normal circumstances, it becomes less helpful and more stressful, leading to anxiety and chronic depression.

Anxiety can be caused by,

Co-condition or Co-morbidity

Some people can suffer anxiety alongside other mental health conditions. Someone suffering from anxiety can also deal with depression at the same time.

Family history

The cause behind anxiety can be genetic - if you have someone in your family who is dealing or has dealt with anxiety, there is a higher chance of you developing anxiety disorder as well.

Ongoing stressful situations

If there is an ongoing life event causing a lot of stress, it may lead to anxiety. Ongoing stressful situations include an abusive relationship, job issues, family breakdown and more.

Personality types

Certain personality types are more prone to anxiety than others. Those individuals who are perfectionists, want to be in control, easily get flustered, are inhibited, timid, or have low self-esteem will often suffer from anxiety.

Physical health

Chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma, hypertension and heart disease contribute to anxiety. It’s important to note that some health conditions like an overactive thyroid mimic the symptoms of anxiety - consult a specialist to be sure!

Causes of anxiety in children

1 out of 6 children in Australia deal with anxiety.

The causes vary but include:

  • Spending too much time on TV and social media
  • Pressure to perform well at all levels
  • Parents appear openly stressed in front of children.

Children may feel anxious, especially when they are in new and unfamiliar situations like going to a new school.

However, if you notice that your child is more anxious than other students their age to where they do not partake in activities or socialise with others, it is advisable that you seek out professional assistance to ensure that your children is getting help.

Causes of anxiety in adults

Between the two genders, women are more likely to suffer from anxiety (studies show 1 in 5 men suffer anxiety compared to 1 in 6 women). Here are a few potential reasons why:

  • Traumatic events
  • Eating disorders
  • Hormonal changes (during the menstrual cycle)

Men suffer from anxiety because of the following causes:

  • Social isolation
  • Change in living arrangements
  • Physical health problems
  • Relationship problems

Why do people suffer from anxiety?

Scientists are still looking into the reasons why we deal with anxiety. They are looking at the following parts of the brain:

  • Hormonal release
  • Brain chemistry
  • The Hippocampus, which stores memories
  • The Amygdala, which processes emotions like fear.


Types of ​anxiety

Learn about the different types of anxiety


Signs and symptoms of anxiety

Learn about the causes of anxiety


Anxiety management

Learn how to manage your anxiety

Treatment and support for anxiety

Need help? Reach out. Help is always available.



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