Anxiety disorders are neuro-psychological conditions that cause persistent and debilitating fear, worry, stress and nervousness. These overwhelming feelings may be associated with specific phobias (such as a fear of heights) or may be categorized as a panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Although the exact cause of anxiety disorders is not known, evidence suggests that they are tied to problems in the way that nerve cells in the brain process emotions such as fear, or that they may be the result of changes that occur to the brain’s structure. In addition, anxiety disorders have been shown to run in families, meaning that a genetic component may be involved. Effective treatments for anxiety disorders include prescription medications, psychotherapy, lifestyle modifications and relaxation therapy.