Anxiety Or Panic Attack – Examining The Causes

Having a panic attack is a very frightening thing – leaving the sufferer scared, upset, and uncomfortable. Usually it happens all of a sudden, with no warning. The body just suddenly releases many hormones. It is as if the body is in the middle of fight or flight syndrome, with huge amounts of epinephrine released. (Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline, the key hormone in fight or flight syndrome.)

So what does a panic or anxiety attack feel like? It is marked by an intense feeling of fear – sometimes to the extent that the sufferer feels they are having a heart attack or are going crazy! They can last from just a very brief few seconds to half an hour or longer.

Regardless of how long the anxiety disorder or panic attack lasts, more important is the cause. While any certain person’s cause of an anxiety or panic attack may be difficult to identify, there are causes that are typical. If you want to stop your anxiety attacks, looking at these potential causes might help you find relief.

It May Be In Your Genes

Some people have a predisposition to panic attacks in their genetic makeup. However, the opposite is also true – if there is no family history of anxiety or panic attacks, a person can still develop it.

The environment in which one grows up can also contribute to a tendency toward panic attacks. Studies have found that a person who is taught to be over cautious in the world or who has a very passive style of communication are more likely to have panic or anxiety attacks.

The Role Of The Body

Some conditions of the body can lead to having panic attacks. Hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, labyrinthitis, Vitamin B deficiency, post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder are all things that can affect the body and also trigger a panic or anxiety attack.

There are also things that some people take into their body that can contribute to the likelihood of having an anxiety attack. These are caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Other drugs, such as Ritalin, anti-depressants, marijuana, and all of the SSRI drugs can cause attacks, as well.

…And The Mind

For a person who has had a real loss, like the loss of a spouse or some other significant life change, they can be prone to an anxiety or panic attack.

If a person has a phobia, they can have a panic attack in reaction to exposure to the thing they are fearful of.

Once someone has had a panic or anxiety attack, they are more likely to have another panic attack in a similar situation. It is as if their body learns to put the two things together – that (for example) being in that situation means they are in danger or under stress and must have another anxiety attack.

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