Causes of generalised anxiety disorder

As with most mental health conditions the cause of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is likely to be from a complex interaction of several factors as opposed to a single reason.

A combination of the following factors may increase your risk of developing GAD.

  • Genetics: There may be a genetic component. For example, if your parents live with GAD, you may have an increased chance of developing the disorder.
  • Experiences: Having a history of traumatic or upsetting experiences, such as sudden loss, instability at home, bullying, domestic violence, or child abuse may make it more likely that you develop GAD.
  • Drug use: Some drugs and substances may make some people more anxious than others.
  • Physical health: A long-term painful health condition or disability may make it more likely that someone develops GAD.

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