What causes Anxiety Attacks?


Everyone has his or her own stress triggers. The work stress according to surveys is at the top of the list. Over forty percent of the U.S.A. employees admitted having experienced office stress and one-quarter of the rest say the main source of stress is work.

The following are the main causes of work stress experienced by an individual:

  • Working long hours

  • Being unhappy in his or her job

  • Having too much responsibility or a heavy workload

  • Having unclear expectations, poor management of his or her work,  or he or she has no say in the process of decision making

  • Working under bad conditions

  • Risk of termination or being insecure about his or her chance of advancement

  • Having to present speeches in the presence of colleagues

  • Facing harassment or discrimination at work, especially if his or her company is not that supportive

Also, life stresses can have a great impact. And examples of these life stresses include:

  • Divorce

  • The death of someone’s loved one

  • Loss of his or her job

  • Getting married

  • Increase in his or her financial obligations

  • Injury or chronic illness

  • Moving out to a new apartment

Panic Attack

Although the main causes of panic disorder and panic attacks are unclear the tendency of having these attacks runs in all families. There also seems to be some connections with major transitions of life such as getting married, entering the work place after graduating from college and having babies. The following can trigger panic attacks as well: Severe stress, like losing a loved one to death, job loss, or divorce.

Panic attacks also can be caused by some medical conditions and some physical causes.


Phobias can be developed during childhood, early adulthood or adolescence.

They’re linked often to a stressful situation or frightening event. It is however not always clear how some phobias take place.

Simple or specific phobias

  • Simple or specific phobias such as the fear of heights -acrophobia, develops during childhood usually.

  • Simple phobias can be linked often to an early experience of a negative childhood. For instance, if an individual is trapped when he or she is young in a confined space, he or she may develop claustrophobia (the fear of enclosed places) when he or she is older.

  • It’s thought also that phobias can be sometimes “learned” at an early age. If someone for example, in an individual’s family has the fear of spiders (known as arachnophobia), that individual may develop that same fear as well.

  • Other factors in a family environment, like having a parent who is particularly anxious; may affect the way an individual deal with anxiety as well in the long run.

Complex phobias

It is not clear what causes the complex phobia (such as social phobia and agoraphobia). It is however thought that brain chemistry, life experiences, and genetics, all may play some parts in the above types of phobias.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The exact causes of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are not known fully, but several factors such as brain chemistry, environmental stresses and genetics seem to contribute to the development.

  • Genetics – Several types of research suggest that the history of an individual’s family plays a role in increasing that likelihood that an individual will develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This implies that the tendency for an individual to develop Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) might be passed on by families.

  • Brain chemistry – Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) has been associated or linked with an abnormal functioning of some specific pathways of nerve cell that connect certain brain areas involved in emotion and thinking. The said nerve cell links depend on a chemical known as a neurotransmitter that transmits details from nerve cells to nerve cells. Problems related to anxiety or mood may result in the off chance that the pathways that link certain regions of the brain do not function efficiently. Psychotherapies, medicines or other treatments thought to tweak these neurotransmitters might improve all signals between circuits and assist in improving symptoms that are related to depression or anxiety.

  • Environmental factors – Stressful events and trauma, such as divorce, the death of an individual’s loved one, abuse, changing schools or jobs, may contribute to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). During stressed periods Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) may also become worse. The withdrawal from and use of addictive substances, like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, can worsen anxiety likewise.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Like several other mental conditions, the social anxiety disorder arises likely from a complex interaction of genes and environment.

The following are possible causes:

  • Inherited traits –Anxiety disorder tends to run in the families. It is not, however, clear entirely how much of it might be as a result of genetics and how much of it is due to behavior that was learned.

  • Brain structure –The structure in our brains known as the amygdala (pronounced “uh-MIG-duhluh”) may play a part in controlling our fear responses. Individuals with an amygdala that is overactive may have a fear response that is heightened, leading to increased anxiety in some social situations.

  • Environment –The Social Anxiety Disorder might be a behavior that is learned. That is; an individual may develop that condition after witnessing other peoples’ anxious behaviors. There may be in addition, a link between parents that are more protective or controlling of their kids and social anxiety disorder.


Some individuals are given birth to shyer than the others. One can sometimes outgrow shyness and it can stay with individual other time.

Shyness is associated generally with new circumstances and can pass often. For instance, an individual’s first day starting a new job or his or her first day in school when he or she knows absolutely no one.

That individual with time might start making friends and his or her shyness might just start going away as he or she becomes more confident and comfortable in his or her new situation.

The following are some situations an individual might find him or herself being shyer at than other people:

  • Public speaking; class presentations for example

  • Exams

  • Speaking to another individual of opposite sex

  • Getting to meet new people

  • Drinking and eating in public

  • Performing

  • Talking to AN important person such as his or her boss

  • Job interviews.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorders often develop after a significant traumatic or stressful event in the life of a child, such as the death of a pet or loved one, staying in the hospital, or change in his or her environment (like a change of his or her school or moving to a new house). Kids with overprotective parents are more prone to separation anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The cause or causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) isn’t understood fully. The main theories however include:

  • Biology –Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) may be due to the brain function or own natural chemistry change of an individual’s body.

  • Genetics –Obsessive Compulsive disorder (OCD) may have some genetic components, but certain genes are yet to be known or identified.

  • Environment –Some environmental forces like infections are seen or suggested as triggers for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), however, additional research is required.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition(s) that is triggered when an individual witnesses or experiences an event that is psychologically traumatic, such as natural disaster, war, or any kind of situation(s) that invokes feelings of intense fear or helplessness. While most individuals adjust to the after effects of these events eventually, some of them with time find out or discover that their symptoms are getting even worse. These worsening or increasing symptoms are the end result of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Bipolar Disorder

The Bipolar Disorder has no specific cause. It appears or seems that specific individuals are predisposed genetically to the bipolar disorder, yet not all of these individuals with inherited vulnerabilities develop the illness; indicating or showing that these genes are not just the only causes. Some imaging studies of the brain show or indicate physical changes in peoples’ brains with the bipolar disorder. Much another research point to abnormal functioning of the thyroid, neurotransmitter imbalances, high level of stress hormone cortisol and circadian rhythm disturbances.

Psychological and external environmental factors are believed also to be part of the development of the bipolar disorder – these factors are referred to as triggers – These triggers can begin new episodes of depression or mania or increase an existing symptom. However; several bipolar disorder episodes begin without any obvious trigger.

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