This Article is About
what causes panic attacks
severe anxiety
tingling sensation
human emotions
flight response
panic attack
heart rate
What Causes Panic Attacks: Biggest Pyschological And Physiological Causes Of Panic Attacks
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

What Causes Panic Attacks: Biggest Pyschological And Physiological Causes Of Panic Attacks

What causes Panic Attacks?

The most simple and obvious answer to this question would be "panic attacks are brought on by high levels of anxiety".

But we need to elaborate further and understand what exactly anxiety is, understanding how anxiety fuels panic can go a long way in helping you get over panic attacks long-term.

Definition of anxiety: a state of fear or apprehension which results from the anticipation of an imagined or real threat, event, or situation.

Anxiety is in fact one of the most common of the human emotions with everyone experiencing anxiety at some time throughout their lives. Unless you've suffered with severe anxiety or been subject to a full-blown panic attack it's hard to fully realize just how terrifying experiences they can be!

Many people also assume that anxiety only affects you mentally when in actual fact it can bear with it a number of physical symptoms including;

  • Sweating/ Shaking/ Blushing/ Palpitations
  • Increased heart rate/ blood pressure
  • Tingling sensation in limbs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache

If a person is subject to these symptoms they may struggle to understand why and not directly relate it to anxiety. This can add to the uncertainty and fear which will fuel the anxiety and panic further, to the person the threat of losing complete control seems very real as the tension builds up in their mind.

Fight or Flight Response

Anxiety is often triggered by what's known as the "flight or fight response" and given that a panic attack stems from anxiety, the flight or fight response can be linked to the cause of panic attacks.

What is the Flight or Fight response?

The flight or fight response is a built-in mechanism that kicks as a response to danger or a perceived threat. It's where the body hits the RED ALERT button and battens down the hatches ready to either fight or flee.

During this process the body is flooded with adrenaline and other chemicals which is why anxiety is as much physiological as it psychological.

Physical Manifestations of a Panic Attack

Whilst the psychological factors play a significant role in the cause of panic attacks, there are also physiological factors such as nervousness and chemical effects to account for.

You see, whenever there's a perceived danger the brain is quick to respond and sends out signals to the bodies nervous system. It's this response that gets the body charged up and ready for action whilst calming the body and restoring balance at the same time.

Now I don't want to get to "scientific" on you but understanding how your automatic nervous system works will help you in your struggle with panic and general anxiety. Essentially the nervous system can be broken down into two categories with each playing a key role in the development of anxiety and panic disorders.

Sympathetic nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for priming our body ready for action, it's the gateway for the flight or fight response. It triggers the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands in the kidneys which acts as chemical messengers throughout the body.

Parasympathetic nervous system: the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for restoring our system and body to a normal state after the perceived threat is gone. It kicks in after the sympathetic nervous systems response and helps us return to a relaxed state, free of anxiety or fear.

Wrapping it up

There are many possible causes and triggers for panic attacks. In this article we've discussed the two biggest contributing factors from both a psychological and physiological perspective.

Unresolved emotions and conflicts from the past will be another underlying factor in the cause of anxiety disorders panic attacks. A gland in the brain known as the Amygdala has also been linked to anxiety as it handles our response to fear.

Just remember that fear fuels anxiety and anxiety fuels panic. It all begins with fear, so each exact cause and triggers for panic attacks will be different from person to person.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
What Causes Panic Attacks And How Do We Get Rid Of Them?
These days we're safe, relatively speaking. Yes, we may be mugged, killed or injured in a motor accident or have the misfortune of falling out of the sky in an aeroplane that's engine(s) have stopped running, but in the main, we're a lot safer than were our ancestors thousands of…
By: Mike Bond in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Jun 10, 2011  
  Likes: 0

How To Treat Hypochondriasis
Hypochondriasis. Also known as health anxiety. What are the primary symptoms? How is it clinically diagnosed and assessed? What are the causes? What are the medical treatments? What are the psychotherapy treatments? Allthough there are many forms of anxiety about, one of the rarest is known as hypochondriasis. Since anxiety…
By: John Steven Horvath in  Health and Fitness  >  Phobias   Sep 21, 2012  
  Likes: 2

Mindfulness And Anxiety
Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of unease that can can develop into personal fear and worry. Recently certain medical experts have put mindfulness and anxiety together as a possible cure for this condition. Anxiety that leads to fear/worry will finally develop into tension that runs through your whole body and…
By: Chris Evans in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Jan 12, 2012  
  Likes: 0

What is Driving Anxiety Disorder?
You might be surprised to learn that driving anxiety disorder is a disorder that many people suffer from. In some cases driving anxiety can turn into a full blown phobia where a person will refuse to drive at all! Not all driving anxiety is as extreme as driving phobia, but…
By: Shelly Graham in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Apr 29, 2013  
  Likes: 1

What is Ocd?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder that illustrates disturbing thoughts that causes restlessness, making a person severely anxious, with fear, and worries through repetitive and rhythmic behaviors to cope and minimize the anxiety felt combined with thoughts and obsessions or compulsions. They usually do repetitive actions and behaviors such…
By: John Neyman in  Home and Family  >  Parenting   Dec 07, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Home Remedy for Anxiety - 3 Reasons to Choose Natural Over Prescription Medications
There are great reasons to choose a home remedy for anxiety rather than prescription medications. This article will discuss three of these reasons that will hopefully help you decide whether or not a natural remedy is right for you. Anxiety doesn't have to take over your life, you can learn…
By: Tess Rainey in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Mar 06, 2011  
  Likes: 0

3 Ways To Help With Sciatic Nerve Pain
Most of us at some point in time have sciatic nerve pain. How do you know when you have sciatic nerve pain? That’s easy. You have a shooting pain from your buttocks and down your leg to your foot. This pain is caused when your sciatic nerve is pinched. Your…
By: Cathy Quel1 in  Health and Fitness  >  Back Pain   Aug 14, 2012  
  Likes: 1

3 D's OF Sleeping Pills
In the wake of understanding this, I trust you can in any case rest soundly. Rest instigating pharmaceuticals, prevalent known as dozing pills, have a notoriety of people get some peace and calm around evening time. Lack of sleep is such a troublesome condition to have since it actually destroys…
By: Kat Li in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   May 06, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Several Things You Can Do at Home to Help You Sleep Better
Sleep is the elixir for life. If we don’t get an adequate amount of sleep each night, around six to eight hours according to most sleep specialists and doctors, our bodies can literally fall apart. Exhaustion and fatigue can cause cognitive impairment, which can result in poor performance at work…
By: Jonathan Pang in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Mar 31, 2016  
  Likes: 1

U.S. Anxiety Concerning Japan Radiation
Problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan and subsequent tsunami have created fear in the United States that radiation may span the Pacific Ocean in dangerous levels. Despite numerous reports from experts such as meteorologists and government officials that there is…
By: Shirley Pressnell in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Mar 30, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Is Health Care Insurance Cheaper In Case Your Balanced?
Insurance firms have other ways of determining health care insurance premiums. The legal guidelines which get a grip on these practices consist of state to state. Currently many insurance agencies charge rates good health of each one applicant pertaining to individual plans. Generally the person's age, girl or boy and…
By: adminpool1 in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Aug 12, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Ways to Pass the Time While House - sitting
If you have family, friends, or neighbors who often travel for business or pleasure, you know that they want their house to be safe while they are away. If you are available, you may be asked to house-sit for them. While house-sitting, you will need to take messages from anyone…
By: Hollie E. Townsend in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Aug 23, 2013  
  Likes: 1

Benefits Aplenty, Basic Safety Guaranteed
Health aasurance is a monetary insurance plan provided so that you can counter health costs incurred resulting from health caution requirements. Policies is available on individuals level, using a family or perhaps group. Gone could be the days if health reassurance was widely known as a domain name of mid…
By: adminpool in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Aug 12, 2015  
  Likes: 0

How to Relieve Anxiety – 3 Tips to help you Take Control of Your Life
Do you suffer through having anxiety attacks every day of your life now? Do you feel powerless when your heart starts racing, you begin sweating, or that sick feeling in your stomach reappears yet again? Have you grown fearful of certain situations or events in your life; due to some…
By: Joseph P. Landry in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Aug 02, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Self Help Books for Panic Attacks
Self help books are written with the intention of instrucing someone how to overcome a problem. Some problems can be solved by self help books and some can not. If you are suffering from panic attacks you will be pleased to know that self help books have been shown to…
By: Branden in  Health and Fitness  >  Anxiety   Apr 29, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2491    Report this Article