By: Chris Anderson Psy.D

There are a set of variables that often interact and come together that set the stage for developing problems with anxiety. They are listed below and we briefly touch on what can be done about them.

Biology: Some people are genetically predisposed to developing anxiety problems, meaning it runs in their family and is passed on through genetics. Additionally, some people may have a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters that can fuel anxiety. Unfortunately, we cannot change the genetics we inherited, however, we can manipulate our biochemistry. Physicians and psychiatrists attempt to do just that with psychotropic medications that are designed to manipulate neurotransmitters in an attempt to reduce anxiety.

Personality: Many people with anxiety seem to possess a certain group of qualities, attributes, and characteristics that have the potential to create anxiety. Examples include: perfectionism, high expectations, responsible, avoids conflict, desire to please, need for control, and negative outlook to name a few. Counseling and therapy and ideally suited to help identify these personality traits and teach specific tools designed to help people reduce or eliminate these traits.

Stress: Although many people may have the biological and personality attributes that make them prime candidates for an anxiety disorder, not all of them develop. Just because we are predisposed, does not necessarily mean it is predetermined. Often it is environmental stressors, or a period of prolonged stress, that activates an anxiety disorder in people who have this combination of biological and personality traits. Although life is filled with stress, you can do your best to keep your stress level at a manageable level and/or learn more coping strategies to deal with the stressors you encounter. There are plenty of resources online for how to cope with stress, or you get individualized assistance through counseling at Innovative Psychological Consultants.

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