Can You Have Anxiety Disorder Without Underlying Factors?

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated October 13, 2021

Can You Have Anxiety Disorder Without Underlying Factors?

I don’t feel anxious or stressed but I have anxiety symptoms. I’ve been to the doctor many times and he always tells me my symptoms are symptoms of anxiety and that I should address my anxiety issues.

I like the fact that he won’t give me drugs, which I wouldn’t take anyway. But I’m having a hard time believing I have anxiety issues since I don’t feel anxious or stressed.

Is it possible to have anxiety disorder without having underlying factors?

When there is no medical cause for your symptoms — a medical condition or medication causing your anxiety-like symptoms — anxiety disorder is ALWAYS caused by underlying factors.

So to answer your question, no, it isn’t possible to have anxiety disorder without underlying factors when there is no medical cause for your symptoms.

However, it's possible and even common to BELIEVE you don’t have any underlying factors and don’t feel anxious and stressed even though you are experiencing anxiety-like symptoms.

In fact, many people come to us initially because they don’t feel anxious or stressed yet have anxiety-like symptoms. Therefore, they conclude an undiagnosed medical problem is causing their symptoms since they can’t see their anxiety issues.

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This occurs because:

  • Anxiety’s underlying factors are almost always invisible to the sufferer until they discover their underlying factors or behviors are unhealthy – unhealthy behaviors seem normal because they have used them for years and have seen others use them, too. So, their underlying factors and behaviors seem normal.
  • Many anxious people don’t recognize their elevated anxiety and stress levels are abnormal because they feel normal since this is what they've become used to.

We experience anxiety disorder for specific reasons. If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, it’s because you have issues with anxiety.

The good news is that when we identify and address our anxiety issues — the underlying factors that cause elevated anxiety and stress — we can eliminate anxiety, its symptoms, and the stress that’s causing symptoms. We can then go on to live a normal life, and one without anxiety issues, abnormal stress, and symptoms.

Since anxiety disorder is caused by specific reasons, when those reasons are identified and successfully addressed, issues with anxiety and unhealthy stress subside.

There is a solution to resolving anxiety disorder, and that is addressing the specific reasons it occurs. We believe everyone can overcome issues with anxiety with the right information, professional help, and support.

When we do the right work, and for long enough, success is inevitable.

For more information:

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions archive. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including the Frequently Asked Anxiety Question: Can You Have Anxiety Disorder Without Underlying Factors?