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The exact cause of anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is still not known. A particular event can trigger the condition but often there is no apparent reason for the development of the disorder.

Medical experts believe the answer may lie in the balance of certain natural chemical in the brain, known as neurotransmitters. The two chemicals thought to contribute to anxiety are serotonin and noradrenaline. If an imbalance develops amongst these chemicals, it can have a direct effect on your mood and general outlook. Anxiety or depression can quickly develop as a result.

In some cases, anxiety is triggered by an obvious event in the patient's life. An episode of severe fear, panic or stress can cause long term anxiety to take hold.

However, in most cases of anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder, there will be a combination of causes for the condition. As well as your physiological balance, factors such as your genetic makeup, your life experiences, and your living environment can also contribute to the development of anxiety.

This can make is very difficult for medical experts to identify, and therefore treat, the causes on an individual's condition. Treatment may successfully address one factor but the anxiety may continue due the presence of several other elements.

The inability to identify the causes of anxiety, is why the disorder is best treated through a combination of medication, psychological therapy, and lifestyle changes. Often, the greatest progress can be made by the patient making changes to her life. Exercising, relaxation techniques, food choices, and a reduction in smoking and drinking can all cause significant improvements in the disorder.

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