Doing Life Together

money-2700212_1920The root cause of anxiety is sometimes easier to spot than others.

Sharon was about to go into her promotions meeting at work, but began to feel her heart race, her palms sweat and her hands shake. She was having trouble breathing and felt sick to her stomach. She just wanted to leave her supervisor’s waiting area and find a place to calm down. So she told the executive administrator that she didn’t feel well and needed to reschedule the meeting. Sharon was having a panic attack.

Anxiety is the most common psychiatric disorder and often unrecognized and untreated. But in Sharon’s case, the panic she felt was about more than her worries regarding promotion. Sharon’s root cause of anxiety was her fear of rejection. Anxiety was prompted by her thoughts and beliefs. But anxiety can rise up in a person’s life from all kinds of problems and may not be related to only related to negative thoughts or beliefs.

We are body, mind and spirit. All three impact each other. Physical problems can mimic anxiety and anxiety can be caused by physical problems. Here are a few other root causes of anxiety that you may not think about:

Cardiac: Anxiety can be a byproduct of cardiovascular disease. Its symptoms can be similar to Sharon’s, e.g., panic.  Cardiac symptoms may present like anxiety. Examples are angina, arrhythmias, cardiac tamponade, congested heart failure, myocardial infarction and more.

Endocrine conditions: Anxiety can be a symptom associated with endocrine conditions such as Cushing disease, diabetes, parathyroid and thyroid disease, pancreatic tumors and more due to the impact of disease on the body.

Gastrointestinal problems: The more anxiety you have, the more at risk you are for GI problems. Irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease and other are more associated with those who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Posttraumtic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Parkinson disease: It is not uncommon to see social anxiety and panic attacks with those diagnosed with  Parkinson disease and other neurological diseases.

Inflammation: Anxiety can cause changes in the inflammatory response. Thus, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other inflammatory conditions can present with anxiety.

Camouflage:  Anxiety can sometimes mimic a medical illness when symptoms like tachycardia, palpitations, sweating, flushing, dry mouth, dizziness, tremor, muscle tension, headaches, and fatigue occur.

So if you are struggling with anxiety,  consider how your body, mind and spirit play into symptoms in order to address the root causes of anxiety. Addressing the root cause of anxiety makes a difference in the success of treatment.



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