When treatments fail, it might be the causal explanation that's faulty.
Feeling fearful in normal situations. Being painfully shy in groups. Having difficulty concentrating or sleeping. Worrying a lot all the time. Feeling on edge, restless, irritable, nervous, freaked out, or overwhelmed. These are the general characteristics of anxiety.
According to a recent study, half of all Americans experience emotional difficulties that could be diagnosed as a mental illness. More than a quarter of us will meet criteria for two or more mental disorders during our life. Anxiety leads the list with a median age of onset being only 11 years old. Conventional psychiatric and pharmaceutical treatments, however, fail more than succeed for relieving anxiety in the long term for many people.
It is not surprising that people who have anxiety are less likely than those who struggle with depression, substance abuse or impulse control issues to seek psychological help. Perhaps they have good intuition that what they are experiencing can be better explained by possible alternative causes.
Physically Based Explanations
When the body can't absorb, digest, or metabolize nutrients properly, all kinds of physical and emotional symptoms can result, including those that mimic anxiety. Elimination diets can identify the culprit food(s), but may take months and be tedious to follow. Food allergy and sensitivity tests can be done by most naturopathic physicians to determine if emotional issues are being caused by nutritional problems. Anxiety symptoms usually clear when allergenic foods are removed from the diet when this is the cause.
Intestinal yeast infections can produce symptoms that are frequently misdiagnosed, including general anxiety, panic attacks, and behaviors of obsessive-compulsive syndrome. Cravings for sugars in all forms, fruit, dairy and wheat are classic indicators of the possible presence of candida. Overuse of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, steroids, antacids and anti-ulcer medications that kill off intestinal flora that control yeast are additional culprits.
Eliminating these foods and medications with the supervision of a doctor, and taking therapeutic grade acidophilus and probiotics can easily restore "good" flora to curtail candida, thereby relieving anxiety.
Yes, intestinal worms can release toxins that irritate the central nervous system and create anxiety. Worms get into our systems from our pets, as well as from unsanitary eating conditions. Naturopathic physicians and others who treat parasitic disorders (usually specialists in tropical medicine) can recommend herbal cleanse treatments that eliminate these unwelcome critters.
PsychoSpiritually Based Sources
Persons who engage in personal growth processes, meditation, spiritual trance-work, and other potentially transformational activities - especially those who do so without the guidance of a teacher or more experienced practitioner - sometimes have physical and emotional experiences that feel like the characteristics of anxiety. As one example, the kundalini rising effect that might occur from meditation can feel like a panic attack or even a heart attack to those who aren't expecting this strong type of physiological result.
These types of pseudo-physiological effects are the bodily-felt sensations of spiritual awakening, of subtle energy centers being realigned, and of our core selves being transformed. It's a psychological crisis when what is happening is misunderstood and treated as an mental pathology. It is a spiritual crisis because the process invariably leaves one for a time without a solid sense of trust in being ultimately safe in the universe. Such a psychospiritual crisis can dramatically effect one's confidence in being in touch with the Sacred. Working with an experienced guide can keep these experiences from becoming psychospiritual emergencies.
Attachment to Self-Judgment
In Buddhist psychology attachment is a primary cause of suffering. We can be attached to things we want or like (and thereby anxious about losing them), or we can be attached to our aversions, to things we don't want or don't like. We can be attached to believing that we are not good enough in any myriad of ways that are really not objectively true, or to the false impression that we can't handle situations that we actually can handle.
Negative self-judgments are a major source of anxiety. Believing there is something fundamentally wrong with who we are frames our entire experience of ourselves, our relationships, our abilities, and our future. It robs us of what should be our natural self-confidence, and leaves in the wake a pit of self-doubt from which the many variations of anxiety can grow. Psychotherapy, self-help personal growth work, and flower essence remedies are useful in overcoming attachments to negative self-judgments.
Subtle Energy Based Causes
In the fields of energy medicine and energy psychology it is becoming better understood that when our integrated subtle energy systems are out of balance, physical and emotional symptoms can be produced.
Traditional Chinese Medicine might describe the symptoms of anxiety as scattered qi. Homeopathy or flower essence healing principles might call the same symptoms the need for removing the obstacles that impede the healing power of the vital force. Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and homeopathic or flower essences remedies correctly applied can re-balance the subtle energy systems and remove the symptoms of anxiety.
The planet Uranus impacts the nervous system, and all things electrical, which includes the body's bio-electromagnetic subtle energy system. When transiting Uranus triggers any one of numerous factors in an astrological chart - other planets, asteroids, points, house cusps, etc - it can manifest in an individual's daily life as the experience of anxiety. A psychological astrologer who is well versed in health or medical astrology can readily identify if symptoms of anxiety can be traced to this possible cause, and recommend coping strategies that fit with one's personal astrological strengths.
Intuiting Your Anxiety Cause
Personal intuition is a good starting point in determining one's cause(s) of anxiety. In a quiet moment free of distraction and mental chatter, tune in to your mindbodyspirit and ask: What do I need to address first in treating my anxiety? Think of the seven explanations here, and others that occur to you, then wait for your inner wisdom's indications. Use muscle testing or the pendulum to confirm intuitive answers, if these methods work for you.