There is no one single cause of panic attacks. One person may have panics attacks for an entirely different reason to the next person with the disorder. Indeed, in most cases, there are several reason for an attack, rather than one single factor.
Experts believe the causes of panic attacks lie in personality traits, childhood influences, and physical factors. These issues can be interwoven making it difficult to identify the root of the problem.
The personality of an individual is believed to be contribute to the likelihood of developing a panic disorder. If you are an anxious person, or have low self esteem, you are more at risk than a calm, confident individual. People who are too self-critical are also more likely to develop the disorder.
In terms of childhood influences, panic attacks can be caused by incidents in your youth, or by the way your parent raised you. Trauma or fear experienced during childhood is a common cause of panic attacks in later life.
A great many physical factors can also contribute to the development of a panic disorder. Stress, poor diet, and abnormal blood sugar levels can all increase the likelihood of the condition. Medication such as antidepressants can also cause panic attacks to develop.
Other physical factors related to panic attacks include caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, or illicit drugs. Chronic pain and digestive problems are also known to sometimes trigger panic attacks.
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