Causes of Mood & Anxiety Disorders

What Causes Mood and Anxiety Disorders?

Certain life events, such as divorce or death of a loved one can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Stressful situations like financial problems, unemployment and developmental changes like adolescence, the transition to college, and the empty nest period can also be triggers.


While the above events are likely to trigger a mood or anxiety disorder, the true cause of these mental illnesses is far more complex. Mood and anxiety disorders have strong hereditary roots. Studies conducted among identical twins sharing the exact same genetic code have found that when one identical twin becomes depressed, the other will also develop clinical depression approximately 76 percent of the time.


Temperament is another factor that contributes to the development of mood and anxiety disorders. Temperament is thought to be genetically linked as well. 

Temperament is a set of inborn personality traits. These traits dictate how we think, what we do, and how our brains develop emotionally over the course of our lives. Here are some examples of temperament traits:

  • High harm-avoidance

  • Rigidity

  • Difficulty seeing “the big picture”

Because temperament is unchanging, professional treatment can help individuals better understand their traits and learn to manage their temperament to decrease distressing mood and anxiety symptoms and help them function effectively in the world.

Find help for depression and anxiety

In addition to being a leader in the treatment of eating disorders, Eating Recovery Center also provides treatment for co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders. To speak confidentially with a Master's-level counselor and to learn more about our Mood and Anxiety Disorder Program, please call us at 877-825-8584.

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