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Anxiety Attack Causes

BY: David Prakash Kumar | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2010-01-29
 



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   David Prakash Kumar
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An anxiety attack is a sudden increase in the level of fear or worry (emotional condition characterized by psychomotor restlessness, fear without proper reason) that causes worrisome symptoms, but not life threatening. These can be increased heart beats, difficulty in breathing, feeling of loss of control or imminent death. Usually, it lasts from 5 to 20 minutes and can be caused by stressful or unexpected circumstances.

The anxiety is a response to fear, which prepares the individual to cope or to protect against some hazard. During panic attacks, the nervous system reacts as when one has to do during life-threatening situations. This response causes the physical symptoms and disturbing emotions that are usually associated with anxiety attacks.

Causes
Genetic cause:


The exact cause of panic-related disorders is not known. It is believed to be the result of an imbalance between brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). It can even be transmitted from one generation to another (genetic transmission). Children with parents with such disorders have 8 times higher risk of developing this disease than others. The genetic factor has a large contribution - so if someone in your family had problems with panic, it is possible that it can force you to deal with it too.

Stressful events:

Panic attacks can occur following a series of unpleasant events, and as a result of stress and daily problems. Also, the idea of marriage, change of job, house changes, and the birth of a child in a family, divorce or death of a close may be the cause of panic attack. Death of a loved one or separation from a family member is the usual trigger of panic disorders.

Panic attacks can also be caused by:

Ingestion of large amounts of alcohol or abrupt discontinuation of alcohol
Ingestion of large amounts of caffeinated beverages.
Excessive smoking (increase over the acceptable amount of nicotine in the blood)
Use of drugs (such as those to treat asthma and heart disease) or abrupt discontinuation of drug treatment (for anxiety and insomnia)
Use of other drugs like cocaine or marijuana
A high level of stress for a long time (chronic stress)
Surgery under general anesthesia

Panic attacks may be associated or may be caused by a particular medical condition:

Hyperthyroidism - thyroid hormone in excess
Heart diseases like mitral valve collapse
Neurological disorders (epilepsy)
Asthma
Lung disease (chronic obstructive bronchopneumonia)
Interruption of medication for heart disease
Depression
Anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Although panic attacks are relatively similar to each other, they can take place in these two types of situations:

Unexpected panic attack that occurs without warning and without any apparent reason.
Situational, where a panic attack occurs in a particular set of circumstances.

Panic-related disorders are diagnosed when a person has repeated panic attacks and is worried about the possibility of a new crisis and avoids places that might cause fear. Those who have these kind of problems should be treated immediately with counseling and the underlying cause should be identified.

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