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Risk factors for anxiety

To read the Introducton to Anxiety Click Here

Risk factors are characteristics that increase the likelihood that you will develop a particular condition.

Common risk factors for anxiety disorders are:

  • A family history of anxiety disorders.
  • Past negative experiences (e.g. family conflict or sexual abuse).
  • Build up of stress.
  • Experiencing a loss, such as a miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • Psychiatric illness, such as depression.
  • Medication use or discontinuation.
  • Withdrawal after discontinuing certain substances, such as alcohol or drugs.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Having had an anxiety disorder in the past.

Treatment for anxiety

Anxiety disorders are among the most treatable conditions within psychiatry.

There are well established and proven treatments for each of the above disorders.

The most well researched treatment for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which includes many techniques you can learn and practice for yourself.

Complex PSTD can take longer to treat as there are often more factors involved.

With both PTSD and complex PTSD, the most important thing is to find a sensitive therapist who specialises in trauma. If you have experienced trauma you may be eligible for counselling or therapy which is funded by ACC. Please see your GP and ask for details about how to apply for this.

Other strategies for managing anxiety involve looking at lifestyle balance and decreasing known contributors to anxiety such as caffeine. (See Self Care)

Sometimes medication is also required to treat anxiety and often a combination of both medication and therapy works best - it really depends on the severity of the anxiety. (See Treatment)

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