Causes of Anxiety Attacks

What Are The Causes of Anxiety Attacks


Many studies show that anxiety disorders tend to run in the family.

This means that if your parents or grandparents suffered from anxiety attacks you are more prone to them than other individuals that do not have anxiety in his or her family history.

It is important to know whether or not our genes are our destiny even though some scientists try to make it differently.

Brain Biochemistry

Our brain functions because of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are responsible for all the communications between our brain cells. Without them, our brain would simply not function. In addition, when there is a chemical imbalance the communication between our brain cells suffers and so do we.

Neurotransmitters that are the most responsible for a persons feelings are called serotonin and dopamine. The level of these two brain chemicals is never normal when an individual suffers from anxiety attacks or an anxiety disorder in general. There are also specific brain parts that are active more than usual when a person suffers from anxiety, which is another way of proving that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Environmental Factors

Aside from genes and chemical imbalances, there are many other causes of anxiety attacks. One of them is stressful events such as divorce, death of a loved one, financial problems, job loss and so forth..All of these events can cause or trigger anxiety attacks or make them more frequent.


Certain personality structures are more prone to anxiety than others. For example, individuals that have low self-esteem and poor coping skills are very likely to suffer from anxiety attacks in a stressful situation such as public speaking.


Traumatic events such as car accidents, war, and sexual, physical and emotional abuse can cause anxiety later in life due to the painful memories, anniversaries and nightmares. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very common in war veterans and victims of abuse. Unfortunately, one of the main characteristics of this type of anxiety is anxiety attacks that are very intense.

General Health Condition

Serious or chronic illnesses such as heart disease, sleep disorders, tumors, asthma, diabetes, HIV, neurological disease and infections can mimic symptoms of anxiety and depression or cause them. Unfortunately, it is very common for individuals that suffer from serious physical disease to also be afflicted with depression and anxiety.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism is one of the leading causes of anxiety attacks, anxiety in general and depression. Sadly, many individuals that suffer from anxiety or depression try to self-medicate with alcohol, which deepens and prolongs their disorders. Many alcoholics suffer from anxiety and depression because alcohol abuse caused chemical imbalance in their brains or even damage certain parts of their brains.

There are many other possible causes of anxiety attacks. However, the most common are those listed above. The important thing to note is that in the majority of cases, there is more than one cause of anxiety. In addition, causes of anxiety attacks can sometimes be hidden or masked, making them hard to recognize, which is one of the reasons you should seek professional help if you suffer from anxiety.

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