Panic attacks are characterized by the experiencing sudden onset of intense fear and apprehension. Typically they are of short duration. The main character of these attacks is that they begin abruptly without any warning or hint.
Those who experience the panic attacks for the first time, feel like they are having a heart attack or are going to die. These are harrowing experiences for the victims and it takes many days to recover from them.
Different Causes Of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks usually occur in conjunction with other psychological conditions and anxiety disorders, though these are distinguished by the sudden and intense attacks.
Inheritance plays a major part in getting this disease; it runs in families. But people without any family history of panic attacks can also get it. It is observed that people with more than average intelligence and women (compared to men) are more likely to be afflicted with this disease. Environmental conditioning such as imbibing a view of malevolent world during childhood is correlated with panic attack.
If the persons living with unresolved phobias are forced to come in contact with their objects of fear unexpectedly often experience panic attacks in such situations.
Psychological conditions like post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and biological conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, mitral valve prolapse, labyrinthitis and parasitic infections can trigger panic attack disorders.
Short Term Causes
Significant life changes causing stress, life transitions, emotional attachments to partners, loss of a beloved person can cause panic attacks. Stimulants like nicotine can also trigger the attacks.
Unresolved Psychological Contradictions
If the person is unable to resolve some mistaken beliefs and evades the troubling panic evoking situations without making an attempt to resolve with her/his own effort or by taking medical help over a long period, this can lead her/him to panic attacks if other factors are also present.
Negative thinking, suppressed feelings and lack of assertiveness make the person vulnerable for panic attacks. However, many people may have such problems to a lesser degree but only due to presence of certain collaborative factors the individual can be affected by panic disorder.
SSRI class of antidepressants, Methylphenidate and antibiotics with fluoroquinolones have adverse effects of panic disorder if they are used for a long time. Some time the attacks may occur even if they are discontinued.
Alcohol And Drug Withdrawal
Many substances like alcohol and drugs like benzodiazepines can cause panic disorders as part of withdrawal syndromes when the individual stops these substances or when these drugs are unsubscribed.
Serious And Chronic Illness
If the patient is suffering from diseases that can cause sudden death like cardiac diseases she/he may get panic attacks when she/he experiences any uncomfortable conditions. The patient can confuse the symptoms of anxiety disorder to the cardiac dysfunctions.
It is very difficult to differentiate whether the symptoms observed are due to the cardiac problems or due to panic attacks. Panic disorders can be treated with psychological therapies and proper medication.