Risk factors and complications
Common factors that significantly contribute to an anxiety disorder are:
- Trauma: This can be because of abuse, a first-hand traumatic experience or a witnessed traumatic event. Trauma-related causes may occur at any point in a person’s life, from as early as childhood.
- Stress related to an illness, build-up to a big event or life situation such as work, ongoing worry (for example with finances) or death in the family.
- Other mental health disorders
- Blood relatives with a diagnosed anxiety disorder
- Substance abuse or withdrawal (drugs and alcohol)
An anxiety disorder can cross boundaries and if not treated effectively, may sometimes result in a worsened condition or lead to other mental and physical problems. These can include depression, substance abuse, insomnia, digestive or bowel problems, chronic pain, headaches, social isolation, poor quality of life, a total inability to function at school or work, and suicide.