Everyone can feel anxious in certain circumstances whether it’s because of an everyday problem (e.g., school stress) or life situation (e.g., health concern). You’ll feel anxious for a limited time and then return to a normal state, usually when the stressful situation or event has resolved. When someone is suffering from an anxiety disorder, they experience severe anxiety that is long lasting, and interferes with their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. People feel anxious when they’re not in a state of danger.
There are many types of anxiety disorders which range from very specific to general. Anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental disorders and often people have more than one type of anxiety disorder.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
Although anxiety is a normal reaction to a perceived threat in our environment, some factors put people greater risk to becoming anxious or developing an anxiety disorder:
- Family history
- Childhood trauma (e.g., abuse or neglect)
- Another mental disorder (e.g., depression)