You heard it a million times: we live in a stressful environment. Traffic jams, tight deadlines, exams – this can all cause us to feel on the edge.
Although, if you feel an overwhelming amount of distress, fear or worry on a daily basis, it can be a sign of anxiety disorder.
Difference Between Stress and Anxiety
The main difference between the stress we all feel on everyday basis and anxiety is a disproportion between cause and reaction.
This means that anxiety can be triggered by anything and what someone sees as a normal situation can be a stressful nightmare for someone else.
What Are Common Triggers?
There is a huge variety of triggers, but some of them are common among people suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Also, one person’s anxiety can be caused by multiple triggers. Finally, you can experience anxiety attacks for no reason at all.
1. Health issues and medications
Some serious health issues, like cancer, can trigger anxiety or make it even worse. Illness is a very powerful trigger because the amount of stress it produces mentally and physically is sometimes overwhelming to the patient.
On the other hand, both prescription and over-the-counter medications can have ingredients that may make the patient feel distressed.
Birth control pills, weight loss medications, and cough medications can also set off reactions in your body and mind that may show symptoms of anxiety.
2. Ongoing Stressful Events
A series of stressful life events can trigger anxiety attacks and even develope an anxiety disorder.
Common triggers include work stress and stress caused by changing jobs, pregnancy or giving birth, relationship problems or family issues, emotional shock caused by losing a loved one, or any form of abuse or trauma.
If a stressful period in your life lasts for too long, you may feel like you’re spinning down the rabbit hole.
3. Substance abuse
Some people suffering from anxiety may reach to alcohol or other drugs in order to help them manage discomfort. However, substance abuse can make anxiety disorder a lot worse.
Besides developing an addiction, this form of “therapy” can trigger even stronger anxiety attacks as soon as substances wear off.
Some studies show that people with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to suffer from one themselves.
However, the medical community disagrees on how much this is a product of genes, rather than a form of learned behavior from growing up around someone who suffers from anxiety and accepting specific thinking patterns.
How To Identify Anxiety Triggers?
It’s much easier to handle the triggers once they occur when you identify and understand them. Writing down when anxiety is peaking in some form of a journal, and what can possibly be a trigger may prepare you for future situations.
Anxiety often causes negative thoughts and low confidence. To help yourself overcome triggers, you need to be patient and take time to explore situations and behaviors from your past that may affect the way you’re thinking today.
Get a Professional Help
If you think you may suffer from an anxiety disorder, it`s time to seek professional help. Your symptoms may become common to you and you may learn to live with them, but they will become overwhelming at one point and cause more anxiety. This way, you’re running in circles.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and do the physical exam. This way, you`ll see if there are any physical problems causing you to feel the way you feel.
When your results come in, your doctor may advise you to take some medications. You can also be advised to see a psychologist or psychiatrist. They will use a combination of medication and talk therapy to prevent triggers and treat anxiety.
In conclusion, anxiety is caused by a combination of triggers. Feeling stressed from time to time is perfectly normal.
However, being under crushing amount of stress almost daily is a sign you need professional help. Anxiety is a highly treatable mental health condition. With proper therapy and some patience, you will find good mechanisms to cope with your anxiety triggers.
Please, note, this information provides a general overview of mental problems and may not be applied for everyone. Talk to your doctor to figure out if this information could be applied to you.