Mark’s recommended solutions for this problem are…

1st: PanicAway

2nd: EasyCalm

The causes of  Panic Attacks are the subject of much debate among the medical profession — but just what is a panic attack?

Simply put, a panic attack is the sudden onset of intense anxiety.

This is normally characterised by intense feelings of apprehension and fear and is often accompanied by heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating and trembling in addition to several other symptoms.

Among the medical profession there is somewhat of a dispute about the exact cause of a panic attack but what is certain is that there are several things that do indeed play a role in causing a panic attack including a wide combination of factors that encompass a person’s environment, their biological make-up, lifestyle and inherited traits.

For some time now, experts have looked at genetics to see if they play a role in causing panic attacks in some people. Just like eye colour or hair colour is passed down from parents, it’s also been shown that anxiety and panic attacks can run in families. When investigating someone’s predisposition to anxiety or panic disorders, researchers have found that in many cases the sufferer has had a family member who has either had a panic disorder or some other emotional disorder such as depression.

Abnormalities in the brain are another possible cause for panic attacks. That’s because a panic disorder can result from certain changes in the way parts of the brain function. A number of recent studies have suggested that panic attacks often occur in people who suffer with psychotic disorders such as post-dramatic stress disorder and even schizophrenia.

They have surmised that these psychotic symptoms may lead to somebody having a panic attack and that psychotic episodes may predict the onset of specific anxiety disorders and often play a part in post-dramatic stress disorder as well.

Research also suggests that as a throwback from our more primitive days our bodies “fight or flight” response to danger may also be heavily involved in the onset of panic attacks. That’s because the body’s natural alarm system consists of an involved set of mental and physical mechanisms which come into play when we sense danger. Simply put, the way they work is to put the body “on alert” as it were — increasing the heart rate and breathing thus giving the body adequate resources to either fight the danger or run away from it.

However, during a panic attack these feelings or emotions are triggered unnecessarily even when there is no danger.

High levels of stress are commonly found in people who have panic attacks – and it’s not just certain types of stress that seemed to be the cause. Stresses have the effect of causing intense anxiety or panic and can come from major events such as the separation from or the death of a close one. In these cases, researchers have found that when stress lowers your resistance (or increases your susceptibility) the underlying physical predisposition comes into play triggering an attack.

Environmental causes of panic attacks can come through addiction to things like drugs or alcohol. Both intoxication and withdrawal of drugs or alcohol can contribute to panic disorders in some people.

Quite often, both the biological and environmental causes of panic disorder will work together. While someone may be able to hold their own against one or the other, they don’t have the strength to stand against two at the same time.

Typically, panic attacks come out of the blue. But studies have shown that after suffering from panic attacks for a period of time sufferers can bring them on themselves by responding to the physical symptoms associated with the attack. For example, if a person suffering from anxiety or panic disorder has a racing heart caused by something like taking medication — they could interpret that as a symptom of an attack.

This might actually bring the attack on because one of the prime contributors to a panic attack is actually worrying about a panic attack in the first place.

One major steps that someone suffering either from heightened anxiety or panic attacks should take at a very early stage after diagnosis, is to work out what circumstances regularly precede the onset of a panic attack. This is one of the major steps in dealing with and overcoming panic attacks and should not be missed.

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