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Causes Of Anxiety Attacks

Nov 25, 2007
Anxiety attacks can be caused a multitude of things including stressors, financial problems, relationship problems, bereavement, medical conditions and medication. However, as with any medical condition, there is usually more than one cause, some of which can be interrelated.

When a doctor is trying to determine the causes of a patient's anxiety attacks, he will assess environmental issues, traits in the person's personality, the patient's brain chemistry, any past traumas and the family medical history. Firstly, the environmental issues may include poverty, childhood/parental separation, overly strict parents, overly critical parents, excessive family conflicts, fearful parents, anxious parents and a lacking support system. Secondly, personality traits can include a feeling of lack of power, seeing the world as threatening, general low self-esteem/confidence and the inability to cope with everyday things. Thirdly, brain chemistry can include neurotransmitter imbalances (serotonin, epinephrine, GABA, etc.) and abnormal levels of cortisol (stress type hormone). Fourthly, family medical history can show a pattern of abuse (substance) and disorders (mood, anxiety, etc.) throughout generations, which shows some genetical disposition towards the anxiety attacks. Fifthly, past traumas can have a marked affect, including childhood events (the most damaging), abuse, natural disasters, crime, and war.

Once the cause has been determined for the anxiety attacks, the doctor will attempt to make a diagnosis. However, if the fifth most common causes are not triggering the anxiety attacks then the doctor will look at these other possibilities:

Hypoglycemia - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Thyroid disorders - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Sleep disorders - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Adrenal disorders - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Diabetes - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Asthma - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Migraines - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Epilepsy - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Certain heart conditions - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Other psychiatric illnesses - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Caffeine/other stimulants - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Drugs - heroin/cocaine/amphetamines - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Over-the-counter drugs such as anti-inflammatories, cold/cough/decongestants - - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Steroids (cortisone, prednisone, etc.) - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Weight loss drugs - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Birth control medicines - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Thyroid medications - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Inhalers/respiratory medications - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Herbal products - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

High /low blood pressure medications - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Alcohol withdrawal - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Ritalin - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Adderall - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Dexedrine - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Benzodiazepines withdrawal - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Ulcers - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Hypertension - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Asthma - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Chronic lung diseases - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Apnea/sleep apnea - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

IBS - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Chronic headaches - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Prolapsed of the mitral valve - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

Chronic fatigue syndrome - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

As with any condition, anxiety attacks have causes and triggers. You may only have suffered from one cause or as with many people, had the burden of many. However, the only way to resolve anxiety attacks is to seek medical help and get treated. Anxiety attacks are not a mental health issue, but could become so if you leave it to fester. Talk to the one person you can trust and do not be ashamed as you are definitely not alone.
About the Author
Gary Miller was so scared that he actually passed out during a presentation and couldn't talk after due to numerous social anxieties. To learn more about his journey to recovery and weekly FREE Social Anxiety coping techniques, you can visit his web site at: http://www.Social-Anxiety-Cure.com
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