What Are The Causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

There can be many causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. First of all, GAD is more common in women than men. Experts say that GAD often hits people in childhood or adolescence, but at times can begin in adulthood, too. It can often occur in relatives of affected persons.

There is no really clear answer as to the causes of generalized anxiety disorder, but there are several possibilities.

GAD can be accompanied by another anxiety disorder or even caused by it. Or having GAD can cause other anxiety disorders. For example, some may have anxiety attacks along with it.

* Studies have found that the production and the function of serotonin in the body can be abnormal. Your body may not produce quite as much or it may not be using it in the correct way. Serotonin is responsible for an overall good mood, makes us calm and collect. And if that complex system is not working correctly-you aren't getting the serotonin you need-then you have an overabundance of anxiety. This is why many with GAD respond well to SSRI's(Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor).

* Another cause can be if you tend to be a perfectionist or have low self-esteem. Expecting too much of yourself (unreasonable expectations) can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety. This can happen, for example if you have a job that is based on meeting deadlines all the time. Some handle these jobs very well, but if you are prone to GAD, it can really irritate the symptoms.

* Another cause could be just everyday stress. We have anxiety every day, but you may allow it to mound, taking yesterday's anxiety, pile on today's anxiety, then worry about tomorrow's anxiety, after awhile this gets to be a bit much and you may begin to have anxiety attacks.

* Another cause of generalized anxiety disorder can begin when you are young. Sometimes parents can have unreasonably high expectations, for example expecting perfection in school, and this can bring on GAD.

* Or if you had to take on adult responsibilities as a young person. This is very common when the parent has a substance abuse problem, or in a single-parent family. Simply out of necessity, the child may have to "take care of the parent" or may have to start working and help to pay bills, while still very young. This can definitely spark anxiety disorders.

* Another cause could also be unreasonable expectations from a spouse or family member.

* Still another cause could be lack of sufficient exercise. Also a diet high in caffeine and sugar has definitely been known to increase anxiety.

These are only a few of the possible causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Our brains are so complex that it develops coping mechanisms in ways we will never understand.

But I do hope this has helped at least a little bit. If you are able to identify with any of the above scenarios, you may have GAD. Only when we recognize what is at the root of our anxiety is when we can start to reconstruct our thinking and/or seek help if necessary.

I hope you are able to find some practical information on this site that will help you live successfully with your anxiety. Your life doesn't have to revolve around your anxiety, there is alot of help out there. Feel free to check out the My Advice section for some practical suggestions.

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