Why Are you Suffering From Anxiety?

Some people spend their entire lives suffering from anxiety. Obviously, we all experience certain times that are tougher than others. However, some of us experience persistent and immense wear and tear, with increasingly noticeable consequences. Why does this happen? Why do we suffer from these unpleasant psychological states?
Why Are you Suffering From Anxiety?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 26 February, 2023

Why are you suffering from anxiety? Why do you feel the kind of pressure in your chest that doesn’t allow you to breathe? And why are your thoughts loaded with fear and restlessness? Excessive anxiety that interferes with quality of life continues to be a puzzle for many people. Moreover, sometimes, it appears without any specific trigger and blurs and deforms everything with its long shadow.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen”. However, let’s face it, when you’re suffering from anxiety, this kind of advice is useless. In much the same way, meditation doesn’t help, nor does taking a vacation for a few days or painting mandalas. All these are merely sticking plasters, temporary relief strategies that, in reality, don’t solve anything in the long term.

In fact, anxiety that’s beyond your control is like an invisible monster that causes pain in your stomach, makes your heart race, and leaves you trapped in an ever-increasing spiral. This entity that’s embedded in your mind doesn’t just suddenly disappear. And it’s not due to nerves.

As a matter of fact, anxiety is a difficult companion that’s still not talked about enough and, sadly, its presence is all too often neglected.

Girl wondering why do I have anxiety?

Why are you suffering from anxiety?

If you’re wondering why you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s basically because you’ve reached the point where you feel overwhelmed. You know something is wrong. Your alert system that should be able to react to the pressures, risks, and challenges of your environment is out of control and it overestimates any danger.

In today’s world, anxiety is often no longer the normal and even necessary sensation that grips you when you have to take an exam, have a job interview, or medical appointment. In other words, it’s no longer a timely reaction to a recognized trigger. Instead, feelings of anguish and uncertainty are constant. It’s ceased to be adaptive and has become, in many cases, pathological.

In fact, surveys on mental health such as one conducted in Spain in 2017 warned that more than nine percent of the population was suffering from chronic anxiety. Moreover, people fall prey to this condition and have no tools to deal with it. Often, they don’t even ask for specialized help. They silence their anguish and let time pass until, for example, the first panic attack appears.

However, why does it happen? What causes anxiety? Why do many people suffer from it? Here are some of the causes.

Predisposing factors

There are some variables that predispose certain individuals to suffer more anxiety than the rest. One of these triggers is explained by genetic and family factors. For example, if one of your parents has a greater tendency to experience this condition, it increases the risk that you’ll also suffer from it. It’s not a determining factor but it does raise the possibility.

There are also those who possess a more sensitive warning system and who always live in a state of pre-alert anticipating that something bad or dangerous will happen.  A study has revealed that, in individuals prone to anxiety, there’s an abnormality in certain proteins responsible for regulating the production of serotonin. Its malfunction generates a hyperactivation of the amygdala and, with it, the sensations of fear and constant alarm, anguish, and restlessness that won’t recede and that feeds concern.


There are certain personality traits that can increase the risk of the appearance of anxiety. Perfectionism, low self-esteem, insecurity, shyness, and obsessive behavior undoubtedly increase this predisposition.

Stressful events, both present and past

If you find yourself asking why you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s worth remembering that it often occurs as a result of stress that has accumulated over time that you haven’t dealt with. For example, situations such as being unemployed for a long time or even working in negative conditions can cause anxiety.

Family or relationship problems, raising children, and economic instability are also situations of great psychological wear and tear.

However, you should also look beyond your present situation. Indeed, the past often hides triggers that may have shaped the person you are today. Perhaps you were damaged by a childhood in which you were mistreated, episodes of abuse or you experienced something stressful such as the loss of a relative. These kinds of adverse events also shape the presence of pathological anxiety.

man thinking

Chronic diseases

On the other hand, your anxiety could be due to chronic illness. Ailments such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, etc., increase this risk. They’re situations in which your lifestyle alters, and you feel limited and gripped by the kinds of changes of which, sadly, you’re a prisoner.

Therefore, experiencing anxiety or suffering from depression are completely understandable consequences. Similarly, the presence of addictions can’t be ignored. Indeed, the consumption of alcohol and drugs increases this predisposition.

To conclude, the unbearable feeling of living with anxiety usually has triggers that explain it. However, beyond the causes, lies something more relevant: the strategies to control it. You can’t live without anxiety, it won’t disappear; it’s a part of you.

That said, with therapy and professional help, you can keep your anxiety at a controllable level so you can be yourself. Moreover, you can breathe and feel motivated again without anxiety taking you prisoner.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Shri, R. (2010). Anxiety: Causes and Management. The Journal of Behavioral Science5(1), 100–118.
  • Trait Anxiety Mediated by Amygdala Serotonin Transporter in the Common Marmoset” by S.K.L Quah, L. McIver, A.C. Roberts and A.M. Santangelo, 11 May 2020, JNeurosci.
    DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2930-19.2020

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.