Anxiety or Something Else Entirely? On The Insidious Causes of Anxiety

On average, it takes less than 10 minutes to be prescribed a benzodiazepine (an anti-anxiety drug). Statistics provide a window of insight into the magnitude of the medical misdemeanour of over-prescribing anxiolytics: a total of 30.6 MILLION adults in the United States alone (12.6% of adults in 2019) reported having used benzos.

Anxiolytics are haphazardly prescribed as a first-line treatment for anxiety without much care, foresight or consideration of the true, underlying cause of a patient’s anxiety.

Anxiety is often misdiagnosed (and thus mistreated) because we don’t stop to ask the simplest of all diagnostic questions, the infamous, monosyllabic “Why”.

What is unconventional to acknowledge (but is most often simply unknown), is that neurotic disorders like anxiety can be due to so many different factors factors that currently don’t enter the discussion.

The ramification of this is that people are left to suffer for longer than necessary, never getting to the true cause of their problem, and therefore never being truly cured, only having their symptoms “managed”.

Without getting into the weeds, if you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, keep in mind the potential underlying causes (taking a biopsychosocial approach):

Physiological causes
  1. Breathing and structural issues. Not breathing properly -> not getting enough oxygen -> hypoxic brain -> nervosity.
  2. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Magnesium deficiencies, iron deficiencies… the list is too long for one post.
  3. Heavy metal toxicity, accumulated over the lifespan.
  4. Food allergies and sensitivities. Gluten, dairy, consumption of toxic meats.
  5. Caffeination/stimulant consumption.
  6. Intergenerational trauma passed on through epigenetic expression.
Psychic/psychological/social causes
  1. Trauma incurred, of any kind.
  2. Having too much stress in your life, as simple as that sounds.
  3. Ignoring your intuition. Ignoring your purpose, life path, your innate passions.
  4. Having toxic people in your life.
  5. Not enough connection to your community, loved ones, and a lack of deep relationships.
  6. Existential angst.
  7. Neuroses specific to each life stage (fear of failure or responsibility in young adults; fear of time lost in middle-age; fear of death at the end of life).
  8. Socioeconomic stressors.

In sum, it takes a patient, skilled, and willing professional to (1) be curious enough to uncover the root cause of the anxious disorder; (2) to chart a clear path forward based on the root cause; (3) to remediate the wellbeing, peace, and health that is the natural right of every human being.

  • Anxiety is an epidemic. If you found this information helpful, please share it with someone else. And let us know your thoughts or experiences with anxiety in the comments below ⬇

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