How Stress Can Cause Anxiety Disorders


Stress and Anxiety, although they seem to be one entity, are two entirely different things. These things, however, do play upon each other and if left unchecked, can cause problems such as General Anxiety Disorder and other serious mental illnesses. If you’re currently dealing with high levels of anxiety because of the stress in your life to the point where you need anxiety attack help or counseling and you want to know more about why you’re dealing with what you’re dealing with, take a look at this post:  or read on to the article below to find out the link between your stress and your anxiety.


Stress Is at the Center of Anxiety


Anxiety is a side-effect of stress. When you are feeling nervous and shaky because of an upcoming event such as an important date with your love interest or a job interview, it is caused by stress. Anxiety is a natural reaction to events that stress you out and scare you and you should keep in mind that there is a big difference between feeling anxious and having an anxiety disorder. Those who have normal levels of anxiety will only experience negative effects such as shaking, sweating, and nervousness during situations like those mentioned above. People who have anxiety disorders, however, will experience anxiety even when these situations aren’t happening and will experience even more serious effects. According to Lila Braida, LMFT, “Our anxiety often has a root cause. Maybe you get anxious at work because you don’t trust yourself to succeed.”



How You Cope Affects Your State of Mind

Not everyone who deals with high-levels of stress ends up developing an anxiety disorder, but why? The people who don’t end up having anxiety disorders typically have better coping mechanisms and a brighter mindset when approaching stressful situations. Think about it. If you have a job interview but you keep your thoughts positive and you place your nervous energy into other activities rather than worrying, you have a better chance of dealing with the situation and accepting the outcome even if it does go wrong. If you choose to think negatively and you have no way to cope with stress, however, you’re more likely to get overly-anxious before a stressful situation and develop anxiety towards that event long after it is over.


Too Much Stress and a Lack of Coping Mechanisms Equals Anxiety Disorder

Those who develop anxiety disorders have often been exposed to high levels of stress for an extended period of time. Because of this stress and a lack of coping mechanisms, these individuals develop anxiety towards certain situations that cause stress. If they do not receive treatment or make an effort to change their reactions towards these stressful situations, their anxiety gets worse until they finally develop the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. This isn’t always true, as some anxiety disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be caused by a singular stressful event rather than a string of stressful events that occur over time. Still, this is a general truth.


If you believe that you are suffering from the effects of an anxiety disorder… (which include:)

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Chest Pains
  • Dizziness
  • An Intense Feeling of Dread
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of Breath

… or if you are having trouble coping with stress in your life and you believe that it may be leading to an anxiety disorder, seek help immediately. Both anxiety disorders and overwhelming amounts of stress can be managed to help prevent you from developing an even worse mental illness. There are a variety of resources and people both online and offline who will be able to take control of your life and handle stress and anxiety.


Always remember that you need to be around the right people all the time. Christine Holding, LMFT says “Being around people who care about you is a valuable source of support.” You can also make an effort to find inner peace. Take note that Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC says “Mindfulness meditation practices are effective interventions, and sometimes for mild to moderate conditions—depression and anxiety—super-effective as front lines.”