Causes of anxiety disorders should be sought in the organisation and structure of a patient’s personality, which has developed and evolved in a specific family environment, with distinct affective, relational and educational traits.
Moreover, even though still not proven, genetic predisposition also seems to play a role.
From a psychoanalytic point of view, anxiety arises from a deep conflict of which the patient is not aware, between primary desires (such as hunger and thirst, sexuality, feelings of love and hate, possessiveness and aggressiveness) and vetoes deriving from his moral and social education.
Usually an adult is able to modulate this conflict with balance, based on each moment’s existential needs.
Vice versa, if primary desires are insufficiently supported (for example in a fragile personality), or if the vetoes are too strict and inhibiting, an anxiety syndrome develops as a sign of danger.
From a sociological perspective, anxiety is the expression of a discomfort deriving from maladjustment to the society we live in. The loss of strong points of reference and values creates a condition of fear in the face of an environment perceived as empty and threatening.