Anxiety Disorder Causes & Effects

Everyone feels stress and anxiety at various points throughout their life. But if those feelings start to interfere with your ability to function in your daily life, you may need professional support for an anxiety disorder.

The National Institute of Mental Health says that there are several types of anxiety disorders that can adversely affect your quality of life. Panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are among the many concerns included under the anxiety disorder umbrella.

Depending on the anxiety disorder a person is suffering from, they might struggle with recurring panic attacks or an overwhelming sense of fear that others will judge them in social situations, or they may constantly feel on edge.

Common Signs of Anxiety Disorders

Learn about common signs of anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect each person differently, but there are certain behaviors that may be warning signs. These behaviors might not mean that a person is suffering from an anxiety disorder, but they may indicate that it’s a good time to check in with your loved one.

Examples of anxiety disorder warning signs include:

  • Irritable, on edge, or restless
  • Feelings of foreboding or doom
  • Avoids situations that cause anxiety
  • Withdraws from friends and family
  • Gets tired easily
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Struggles to control feelings of worry
  • Feels out of control

Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Learn about common symptoms of anxiety

A person who is experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder has progressed beyond the warning signs and likely needs professional care.

Because not everyone is affected by an anxiety disorder in the same way, they may struggle with all these symptoms, or they may only suffer from a handful of them. Several factors, such as their life experiences or medical history, can influence the severity of their symptoms.

Examples of anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Choking sensation
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Pounding heart or chest pain
  • Muscle tension or achiness
  • Frequent nausea or abdominal pain
  • Dizziness, faintness, or unsteadiness
  • Feeling detached from their own body

No matter what kind of anxiety disorder symptoms you are struggling with, it is essential to seek professional care. Life Healing Center provides comprehensive, evidence-based care for people of all gender identities, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Causes & Risk Factors of Anxiety Disorders

Potential causes of anxiety disorders

There is no single cause that can lead someone to develop an anxiety disorder. Every person has unique influences in their life that can increase their likelihood for struggling with one of these debilitating conditions, including their family history, past traumatic experiences, and environmental factors.

Examples of anxiety disorder causes and risk factors include:

  • Family history of anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions
  • History of sexual or physical childhood abuse
  • Exposure to stressors and negative life events
  • Experiencing violence, discrimination, or prejudice

Anxiety Disorder Statistics

Statistics of anxiety

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America and Mental Health America reported the following statistics on anxiety disorders in the United States:

  • About 40 million U.S. adults age 18 or older, or 18% of the population, struggle with anxiety disorders every year.
  • About 6 million adults age 18 or older, or 2.7% of the U.S. population, suffer from panic disorder.
  • Social anxiety disorder impacts 15 million adults age 18 or older, or 2.7% of the U.S. population.
  • Between January 2017 and April 2019, more than half of the 273,519 people who self-identified as LGBTQ through a mental health screening tool reported experiencing severe anxiety.
  • Within the same time frame, 62% of transgender people reported experiencing severe anxiety through the same mental health screening tool.

Effects of Anxiety Disorders

The negative impacts of anxiety disorders

The effects of anxiety disorders can significantly impact a person’s daily life. The specific ways anxiety disorders affect each person vary depending on individual factors in their lives, but the long-term impact can be just as harmful if you do not seek professional care.

Although everyone has a different experience with anxiety disorders, these are some of the most common effects of anxiety disorders:

  • Strained relationships with loved ones
  • Trouble keeping up with school or work
  • Financial challenges or unemployment
  • Difficulty completing daily household tasks
  • Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, or death by suicide

What If My Anxiety Disorder Symptoms Return?

Getting professional help for the anxiety disorder symptoms you’ve been struggling with can make a tremendous difference in so many aspects of your life.

By taking the steps to get evidence-based care to manage the anxiety disorder symptoms you’ve been suffering from, you are setting the groundwork for lasting health and wellness. But throughout your wellness journey, you may find that your anxiety disorder symptoms return at unexpected moments or in certain situations.

When you seek care at Life Healing Center, you can build a toolkit to help you manage your anxiety disorder symptoms. Our expert team prepares you for any future challenges you may face so that you are equipped for long-term success.

Common Underlying or Co-Occurring Conditions

Common co-occurring disorders among people who develop an anxiety disorder 

It is common for people who struggle with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from other types of mental illness or addiction concerns. When this happens, it can be even more challenging to manage the symptoms and effects of these overlapping conditions.

The professionals at Life Healing Center work closely with you to provide care for the symptoms of any co-occurring disorders or underlying conditions so that we address your full behavioral health needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about conditions that can co-occur with anxiety disorders, we recommend visiting the National Alliance on Mental Health.

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Life Healing Center.

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My anxiety got to the point where it severely affected my personal relationships. After seeking assistance at Life Healing Center, I am now more equipped to deal with my symptoms and am able to go back to a healthier life.

– Steven G.
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