Hint – it’s not all work causing your anxiety…
Trouble sleeping. Racing thoughts. Difficulty breathing. These are a few of the horrible symptoms caused by anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, you are not alone. It affects over 40 million adults in the U.S. (ADAA). Anxiety can be caused by traumatic experiences, though many times anxiety appears to have no origin.
People often turn to medication to help anxiety. This helps for a while, but the symptoms eventually return. So, what is going on? Why do we get anxiety, and why won’t it go away? Check out the infographic below to explore just a few factors contributing to our stress.
Anxiety is our bodies response to stress. Our brain and body are trying to help us handle a problem, and they do this by creating energy. This energy manifests as a racing heart, muscle tension, sweating, and a host of other physical symptoms. So why does it happen so often and why won’t it go away? That answer is a little bit more involved. Many factors contribute to our bodies’ response to stress. Check out the infographic below to learn more about what causes anxiety.
The roots of the tree represent factors from our past that contribute to stress. Where we come from has a lot to do with how we handle and heal from anxiety and other mental illnesses.
Genetic Factors: Some people have a genetic predisposition to stress.
Childhood Trauma: This is a big one. When a child experiences abuse, neglect, or other trauma, the body becomes hypersensitive to protect itself. This hypersensitivity can show up as severe anxiety in adulthood.
Parental Health: Growing up with a sick parent, whether from illness or addiction, can be a sort of trauma, contributing to severe anxiety. Parents suffering from their own anxiety can create an environment that causes their child to develop symptoms of anxiety.
Childhood Economic Factors: Families with lower incomes tend to use fewer health services. Children in families with lower incomes have a 2.5 times higher rate of depressed mood and anxiety. *
Family Beliefs: Different family values may be contributing to your anxiety. Values like perfectionism can create significant stress for a growing child. This can show up as anxiety.
Anxiety has inherited genetic factors, yes, but there is hope! As you can see from the infographic above, our health and wellbeing is a response to many different parts of our history, our present, and our future. Though we can’t change where we come from, we have power over our present and future. It is unreasonable to think that one doctor can help us address all of these areas of life. In fact, there is not a single health care provider that could. Integrative Medicine and Mental Health approaches health from a team perspective. From this viewpoint, we understand that there is not a single answer to healing. The fact that medication or a particular type of therapy worked for one person but doesn’t for another could be due to the many factors listed.
Integrative Medicine and Mental Health treats the whole person, not a diagnosis, and not just the symptoms. It recognizes the relationship of mind and body and works to help you find healing in both through medical care, counseling, acupuncture, yoga, and more. If you are looking to take control of your health and create your own path to healing, perhaps Integrative Mental Health is right for you. For more information please check out the links below.
A systematic review of depressed mood and anxiety by SES in youth aged 10-15 years.
Lemstra M, Neudorf C, D’Arcy C, Kunst A, Warren LM, Bennett NR. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18457287