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Causes of panic attacks

Panic attacks

Anxiety disorder can be followed by panic attacks. In the States, minimum 20% of adults experienced or will experience this problem, while 1.7 of them will develop panic disorder. The first panic attack is usually experienced between the age of 15 and 19. There are different anxiety disorders, but panic attacks are specific. They can strike a person without warning and disable her or him. 

If someone experience panic attack, it can be the trigger for some phobias. For example, if you had a panic attack in a crowded place, you can develop fear from the crowd. That fear can sometimes be so strong that a person will avoid any situations that can lead her in the crowded place. Sometimes a sufferer can develop fear from getting out of the house and that is called agoraphobia. Due to this, a person can develop panic disorder with agoraphobia or without agoraphobia, but in each case, this problem can have consequences on the quality of life and even on everyday activities. Therefore, the proper treatment is necessary. When this problem hits a child, the consequences usually include not going to school, and depression that can even result in suicidal behavior and other.

What are the reasons for panic attacks?

There is a biopsychosocial model that explains the development of panic attacks. This model includes hereditary factors, cognitive styles and situational factors. However, until today, we are not quite sure what causes panic attacks. One theory claims that panic attacks develop due to changes in the body, which are usually activated when we are in danger. When our body makes a mistake and activates this defense system without any objective reason, panic attack is experienced. There are some persons that are more vulnerable to panic attacks and experts think that the reason for this lies in genetics but this theory can’t explain why people who don’t have anyone in their families who suffered from this problem, have panic attacks. Also, there are researches that explored the influence of low levels of magnesium and zinc in the body on panic attacks.

Chances of developing panic attack are higher in those individuals who had been abused during childhood, in those who had some serious stress and those who use some medicines that can affect certain brain activity. Anxiety sensitivity is something that can provoke panic attack also and, it is actually a specific way of thinking, typical of some individuals, which usually interpret every sensation they feel catastrophically.

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