What is anxiety disorder? Causes symptoms & diagnosis


Anxiety Disorder occur when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of distress, worry/ fear over an emotional trigger. Identifying the reason behind this provides successful treatment.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

To assist diagnosis, the conditions under anxiety disorders have certain characteristics. These set them apart from normal feelings of anxiety. A wide variety of factors can contribute to anxiety disorders. This article explores the different causes of anxiety disorders and the criteria a doctor / psychologist would use to reach a diagnosis.

Causes :

Anxiety disorders have a complicated network of causes, including:

  • Environmental factors

    Elements in the environment around an individual can increase anxiety. Stress from a personal relationship, job, school, or financial predicament contribute greatly to this. Low oxygen levels in high-altitude areas can add to anxiety symptoms.

  • Genetics

    People having family members with an anxiety disorder are more likely to have .this condition.

  • Brain chemistry

    Stressful or traumatic experiences and genetic factors can alter brain structure and function to react more vigorously to triggers that would not previously have caused anxiety. Psychologists and neurologists define many anxiety and mood disorders as disruptions to hormones and electrical signals in the brain.

  • Use of or withdrawal from an illicit substance

    The stress of day-to-day living combined with any of the above might serve as key contributors to an anxiety disorder.

  • Medical factors

    Other medical conditions can lead to an anxiety disorder. They are side effects of medication, symptoms of a disease, or stress from a serious underlying medical condition(may not trigger the changes seen in anxiety disorder) causing lifestyle adjustments, pain, or restricted movement.

Sometimes, stressful events occur as the result of a third party. This includes an employer or partner. Anxious feelings might emerge from people telling themselves the worst will happen. An anxiety disorder may develop without any external stimuli whatsoever. Disproportionate anxiety can result from a combination of one or more of the above causes. For example : a person responds to stress at work by drinking more alcohol / drugs. This increases anxiety levels and the risk of further complications.


A mental health professional can diagnose anxiety and identify the possible causes. The physician will take a thorough medical and personal history, perform a physical examination, and order laboratory tests if needed. These tests may provide useful information about a medical condition that may be causing anxiety symptoms.

To receive a diagnosis , a person must have:

  • experienced excessive worry , anxiety for about several different  activities and on more days (not for at least six months)
  • difficulties controlling worry
  • at least three anxiety symptoms ( on more days than not in the last six months)

To identify the condition, a doctor will look for one of the following anxiety symptoms:
3. Muscle Tension
4.Difficulty In Sleeping
6.Difficulty in Concentrating

A doctor notes the symptoms and find the cause. Perhaps causing absence from work or school.


Subin Joshua
Author: Hi there, my name is Subin Joshua, and I am a Medical student. I grew up in a family of teachers and know that being a social worker is my calling. My passion for helping others has been evident in my involvement in helping the poor and needy for the last three years. Through those experiences, I have learned to interact with a diverse group of people, which has increased my ability to relate to others.