There are many interrelated factors associated with anxiety disorders. The causes of a particular disorder vary, and it is not always easy to determine a cause in every case.
Genetic factorsIt is well established that the tendency to develop anxiety disorders runs in families. This is similar to a predisposition to other illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease.
People may also learn anxious responses from parents or other family members.
Biochemical factorsSome anxiety disorders may be related, in part, to a chemical imbalance in the brain. The neurotransmitter that regulates feelings and physical reactions may be involved.
TemperamentPeople with certain temperaments are more prone to anxiety disorders.
People who are easily aroused and upset, and are very sensitive and emotional, are more likely to develop anxiety disorders.
People who as children were inhibited and shy may be prone to develop certain anxiety disorders, such as social phobia.