1. Health issues
A health diagnosis that’s upsetting or difficult, such as cancer or a chronic illness, may trigger anxiety or make it worse. This type of trigger is very powerful because of the immediate and personal feelings it produces.
You can help reduce anxiety caused by health issues by being proactive and engaged with a doctor. Talking with a therapist may also be useful, as they can help you learn to manage your emotions around your diagnosis.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications may trigger symptoms of anxiety. That’s because active ingredients in these medications may make you feel uneasy or unwell.
Those feelings can set off a series of events in your mind and body that may lead to additional symptoms of anxiety.
Medications that may trigger anxiety include:
- birth control pills
- cough and congestion medications
- weight loss medications
Talk with a doctor about how these drugs make you feel, and consider an alternative that doesn’t trigger your anxiety or worsen your symptoms.
Caffeine can do many things, including inducing anxiety. It can be great in small doses, though tolerance levels will vary from person to person. In some people, too much caffeine can be a trigger that worsens existing anxiety. Fortunately, it’s also an easier trigger to control. For example, some people may find their anxiety improved simply by cutting back from three to two cups of coffee.
4. Skipping meals
When you don’t eat, your blood sugar may drop. That can lead to jittery hands and a rumbling tummy. It can also trigger anxiety.
Eating balanced meals is important for many reasons. It provides you with energy and important nutrients. If you can’t make time for three meals a day, healthy snacks are a great way to prevent low blood sugar, feelings of nervousness or agitation, and anxiety.
Remember, food can affect your mood.
5. Negative thinking
Your mind controls much of your body, and that’s certainly true with anxiety. When you’re upset or frustrated, the words you say to yourself can trigger greater feelings of anxiety.
If you tend to use a lot of negative words when thinking about yourself, learning to refocus your language and feelings when you start down this path is helpful. Working with a therapist can be incredibly helpful with this process.
6. Financial concerns
Worries about saving money or having debt can trigger anxiety. Unexpected bills or money fears are triggers, too.
Learning to manage these types of triggers may require seeking professional help, such as from a financial advisor. Feeling you have a companion and a guide in the process may ease your concern.
7. Parties or social events
If a room full of strangers doesn’t sound like fun, you’re not alone. Events that require you to make small talk or interact with people you don’t know can trigger feelings of anxiety, which may be diagnosed as social anxiety disorder.
To help ease your worries or unease, you can always bring along a companion when possible. But it’s also important to work with a professional to find coping mechanisms that make these events more manageable in the long term.
Relationship problems, arguments, disagreements — these conflicts can all trigger or worsen anxiety. If conflict particularly triggers you, you may need to learn conflict resolution strategies.
Also, talk with a therapist or other mental health expert to learn how to manage the feelings these conflicts cause.
Daily stressors like traffic jams or missing your train can cause anyone anxiety. But long-term or chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety and worsening symptoms, as well as other health problems.
Stress can also lead to behaviors like skipping meals, drinking alcohol, or not getting enough sleep. These factors can trigger or worsen anxiety, too.
Treating and preventing stress often requires learning coping mechanisms. A therapist or counselor can help you learn to recognize your sources of stress and handle them when they become overwhelming or problematic.
10. Public events or performances
Public speaking, talking in front of your boss, performing in a competition, or even just reading aloud is a common trigger of anxiety. If your job or hobbies require this, your doctor or therapist can work with you to learn ways to be more comfortable in these settings.
Also, positive reinforcements from friends and colleagues can help you feel more comfortable and confident.
11. Personal triggers
These triggers may be difficult to identify, but a mental health specialist is trained to help you identify them. These may begin with a smell, a place, or even a song. Personal triggers remind you, either consciously or unconsciously, of a bad memory or traumatic event in your life.
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently experience anxiety triggers from environmental triggers.
Identifying personal triggers may take time, but it’s important so you can learn to overcome them.
If you can identify and understand your triggers, you can work to avoid them and cope. You can learn specific coping strategies to handle the triggers when they happen.
Here are three tips for identifying triggers:
- Start a journal: Write down when your anxiety is noticeable, and record what you think might have led to the trigger. Some apps can help you track your anxiety, too.
- Work with a therapist: Some anxiety triggers can be difficult to identify, but a mental health specialist has training that can help you. They may use talk therapy, journaling, or other methods to find triggers.
- Be honest with yourself: Anxiety can cause negative thoughts and poor self-assessments. This can make identifying triggers difficult because of anxious reactions. Be patient with yourself, and be willing to explore things in your past to identify how they may affect you today.
The most common symptoms of anxiety include:
- uncontrollable worry
- muscle tension
- a rapid heart rate
- difficulty sleeping or insomnia
- difficulty concentrating
- physical discomfort
- tingling sensation
- feeling on edge
If you experience these symptoms regularly for 6 months or more, you may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other types of anxiety disorders exist as well. The symptoms for those may be different than GAD.
For example, with panic disorder you may experience:
- a rapid heart rate or palpitations
- feeling as if your throat is closing
Although you may sometimes feel anxious for apparently no reason, there is usually an underlying cause, and the trigger may be beyond your awareness.
If you constantly feel anxious without knowing why, this is a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder.
If you’re feeling anxious but don’t know why, talking with a therapist may help determine what’s causing it.
If you believe you worry too much or suspect you have an anxiety disorder, it’s time to seek help. Recognizing anxiety is often difficult because the symptoms become common over time.
Start the discussion by talking with a doctor. They’ll discuss your symptoms, conduct a health history, and do a physical exam. They’ll want to rule out any possible physical problems that may be causing the issues, too.
From there, a doctor may choose to treat you with medication. They may also refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. These doctors can use a combination of talk therapy and medication to treat anxiety and prevent triggers.
Occasional anxiety is common, but chronic feelings of worry, fear, or dread are not. They’re a sign you should seek professional help.
The good news is that anxiety is a highly treatable mental health condition. However, many people with anxiety don’t seek treatment.
If your anxiety is impeding your day-to-day life, you should consider seeking help. A mental health specialist can help you find a treatment plan that eases your symptoms, and they can help you cope with your anxiety triggers.
For more information go to the link below
Depression Triggers and Coping Methods
- Stress. Stress is a common depression trigger. Feeling overwhelmed can make us feel hopeless and out of control. We have to learn to establish clear boundaries and say no when we’ve already got a full schedule of things to get done.
- Sensitive times of the year. Times like anniversaries, birthdays and holidays can be very hard. People are reminded of good times in the past that won’t come again and loved ones who are no longer in their lives
- Illness or injury. An injury can cause a relapse into depression, especially an injury that limits a person’s mobility. Chronic illnesses that flare up from time to time, are also antecedents for depression.
- Financial stress. Money problems can trigger depression and other major mental illnesses. The stress and worry associated with even minor money issues have been shown to lead to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
- Problems at work. Work stress can prompt a depressive episode. Often, work stress comes from heavy amounts of work coupled with feelings of helplessness and an inability to change one’s situation. That’s also a common feeling in depression.
- Relationship difficulties. Relationship problems can include those related to marriage and partnership, or those between family members. The closer the relationship, the more potential for depressive thoughts to emerge.
- Poor sleep. For many people, trouble sleeping is a herald for an oncoming depressive episode. This is especially true for bipolar disorder, in which insomnia can trigger either a depressive or manic episode. People with depression rely on getting healthy restful sleep daily, and even a few nights of poor sleep can signal the onset of a depressive episode.
- Substance abuse. Many abused substances work paradoxically; that is, they have stimulant and depressant effects. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, but many stimulants, like methamphetamine, produce serious “crashes” when a person refrains from using them. Another issue is a relapse from sobriety into active addiction. A relapse can send a person into a sharp downward arc that can lead to suicidal thinking.
- Trauma, grief, or loss. Grief can send people into a deep depression that can last for months or years. Losing someone close is also a very common trigger for depression.
- Seasonal Changes. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real condition in which the shift from the long days of plentiful sunshine found in the summertime give way to shorter, darker winter days. This seems to evoke depression in some people, due to the disturbance in their circadian rhythm.
Coping with Your Depression Triggers
To manage your depression triggers, you have to develop a good sense of what situations and stimuli make your depression worse. Psychotherapy can be a great help in getting a better understanding of what makes you uniquely vulnerable to depression. The following steps can also help you gain control of your depression triggers.
- Identify your triggers and the circumstances in which you experience them.
- Evaluate how you usually deal with your triggers. Identify what works and what doesn’t.
- Imagine how the situation would ideally develop when you encounter a depression trigger. Imagine the best-case scenario and an acceptable scenario. What would it take for each scenario to come about? What changes would you have to make to take away a trigger’s ability to bring about a relapse into depression?
- Identify who can help you defuse your triggers. Who can you enlist to help you avoid a relapse into depression?
- Write your plan down. Make it as simple as possible, but make sure to put it into writing. Putting a behavioral plan into text helps make it a reality.
Many depression triggers cannot be avoided, but they can be planned for. Having a support system of people to rely on when things get rough is a critical part of increasing resilience to depression. Seeing a mental healthcare professional regularly is also a vital part of all mental health plans.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression
There are many treatments for depression, including medication and psychotherapy. Since 2008, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used as a rapid, painless and non-invasive treatment for depression. TMS therapy uses targeted magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that affect mood, helping you get back to your best life in a matter of weeks. Most people experience no side effects and receive lasting relief from depression. The best part is it’s covered by most major insurance companies, Medicare and TRICARE.
Rosenthal, N. E. (1984, January 1). Seasonal Affective Disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493246
Sareen, J. (2011, April 04). Relationship Between Household Income and Mental Disorders: Findings From a Population-Based Longitudinal Study. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/211213
Taming Triggers for Better Mental Health. (2017, March 31). Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/apa-blogs/apa-blog/2017/03/taming-triggers-for-better-mental-health
Depression Triggers: What Are They and How to Cope with Them
What is body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition that causes you to view your own physical appearance unfairly. The thoughts and feelings related to your appearance can consume you and affect your thoughts and actions. Eventually, BDD can negatively impact your quality of life and how you feel about yourself.
While everyone’s body has unique characteristics and differences, BDD means you believe one or more of your body’s characteristics are flaws. That belief compels you to spend significant amounts of time focusing on or trying to change what you think is wrong with you.
How common is body dysmorphic disorder?
Experts estimate that BDD affects about 2.4% of adults in the U.S. overall. It affects about 2.5% of women and people assigned female at birth and about 2.2% of men and people assigned male at birth. Outside the U.S., it affects between 1.7% and 2.9% of people.
Who can develop body dysmorphic disorder?
BDD is most likely to start in your teens or early adult years. People usually develop BDD around 12 or 13 years old. Two-thirds of people with BDD develop it before age 18. However, BDD can also start in adulthood.