Risk Factors for Anxiety

General Anxiety

A fourth of the adult population in America has experienced severe anxiety in Orlando at some points in their lives.  General anxiety affects around 20 million Americans making it the most common psychiatric problem in the US.

Gender – In terms of gender, women are more at risk to experience anxiety more than men. Some factors why this is so include cultural pressures and hormonal factors.

Family History – Individuals who have relatives living or alive who suffer or have suffered from anxiety disorder are at high risk to acquire this condition as well. Psychological influences and family dynamics should also be taken into consideration besides the genetic factors for people with general anxiety.

Socioeconomic Factors – Being poor has a big impact in the mind of a person. The fear of being unable to feed your family or even yourself is a reality not only in third world countries but even in the United States, where catastrophic government policies have resulted in tens of millions of unemployed Americans making anxiety a commonly felt condition for Americans nowadays.

Risk Factors for Anxiety in Children and Adolescents

In the US, around 5% of children including teens suffer from some anxiety disorder. Mental stress in the form of separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias can be experienced by young children – panic disorder and social phobia, on the other hand, are often experienced by teens.

Children, teens and young adults can suffer from anxiety disorder from weak or nonexistent social connections and from a threatening or hostile environment. Smoking teenagers are often found to be depressed and/or anxious.  Shy children who are picked on by bullies not only presently suffer from anxiety but will eventually develop worse types of anxiety and depression later on in life.

Generalized Anxiety

Generalized anxiety or GAD for short show up in about 5% of the US population and hits women more than men.  It can start from childhood and if left untreated becomes a chronic problem during adulthood. Elderly people actually suffer from GAD more than any other age group.

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder – Adolescents are more affected from this condition (4% to 9%) compared to adults (around 2%). This problem wanes after the person reaches 25 years of age.

Gender – Again women are twice at risk than men to develop this disorder have about twice the risk for panic disorder than men do. Pregnancy is often a big cause for this disorder.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD affects around 3% of the US population. Around 80% of those who suffer from OCD have had this problem already in their childhood.

Social Phobias

Age – Adolescents are the most prone to social anxiety disorder. This problem is often left undiagnosed and untreated and often develop into another anxiety disorder.

Gender – Woman are more likely to suffer social phobias than men. Men are more likely to seek treatment for this problem since it often hinders their chance of getting desirable jobs.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is a rare but very dangerous anxiety problem and as the title of the condition suggests is caused by traumatic and violent experiences. People who are at risk of suffering from PTSC include those who:

  • Have a present psychiatric illness – People suffering from depression are markedly predisposed to suffer PTSD
  • Abusers of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Have a family history of anxiety
  • Have a history of physical or emotional abuse
  • Were separated from their parents early in life
  • Suffer from sleep-disordered breathing (apnea)

Gender – Women are more prone to PTSD comprising about more than 1% of the population having PTSD while only 0.8% of men suffer from this condition.

Age- Adolescents are the age groups with the highest incidence of PTSD symptoms (around 8%).

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