If you or a loved one are among the many people who struggle with an anxiety disorder, you may be wondering what caused it. Researchers continue to explore what contributes to anxiety becoming overwhelming for some people. We do know that several factors play a role, and for some people, there is a combination of issues that contribute to their anxiety.
If you have a blood relative who has struggled with anxiety, you are more likely to develop it. If anxiety disorders run in your family, you may have already seen the pattern. That is why it's important to tell your doctor about conditions like this when discussing family health history.
History of Trauma
Trauma leaves a lasting impression on our brains. People who have experienced a traumatic event, such as child abuse or exposure to violence, are at increased risk of developing an anxiety-related condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The anxiety response is, at first, the brain's way of protecting you in a time of crisis. It's natural to feel fearful, panicked, or hypervigilant during a time of danger. Sometimes, this response persists long after the threat has subsided.
Therapists and healthcare professionals who work with trauma patients often use techniques to retrain the brain to respond differently to stress triggers and to regulate the anxiety response.