What causes anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural body reaction caused by perceived danger. Anxiety disorders occur when natural anxiety doesn’t go away or worsens over time. The cause of these disorders is not known, but there are some potential links that show certain factors can lead to a person having an anxiety disorder.

Two factors that seem to largely determine whether a person will develop an anxiety disorder are:

  1. genetics, and

  2. environment.

Scientists also think there may be a link between anxiety and the hippocampus in the brain. They believe that any type of brain injury in the hippocampus area could predispose someone to an anxiety disorder. Another area of the brain that could also connect with anxiety disorders is the amygdala, so injuries in that area also could increase the chances of developing an anxiety disorder.

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