What Causes Anxiety Attacks?

Recommended Panic Attack ProductSo, what causes anxiety attacks exactly?  There is no clear-cut answer.  Every person is unique and different.  One person may be triggered by public speaking.  Another may be triggered by cold calling potential customers on the phone.  What causes anxiety attacks will vary from one person to the next.

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There area few general sources of anxiety attacks, however:

  • Phobias — If a person is traumatized in some way, they may experience an anxiety attack when they are put in a similar situation.  “Trauma” is a very loose word here.  Often when we are children, we may perceive very ordinary things in a way that severely frightens us and causes us to develop a phobia around that situation.  Traumas do not have to include extreme, violent events.
  • Hyperventilation — Breathing very quickly and very shallowly can many times be what causes anxiety attacks.  This is because this type of breathing is usually what we experience at the beginning of a panic attack.  Thus, when we start to hyperventilate, it can trigger a full-blown attack in a chain-reaction.
  • Medications — Medications have lots of side effects.  If you aren’t clear about what they might be or how your medications may interact with each other, you may be inadvertently causing yourself to have anxiety and panic attacks.  Talk to your doctor and find out!
  • Genetics — Sometimes we just get dealt a bad hand from the gene pool.  Is there a family history of panic and anxiety attacks?  This may be what causes anxiety attacks if every other possible cause seems to not make sense to you and your situation.
  • Stressful Circumstances — When something intense happens in our lives we may find that we can get pushed over the edge more easily.  This has been known to happen for people who have recently lost a close friend or family member.  For me, I noticed I was more susceptible to anxiety attacks when I was rushing to finish my masters thesis in grad school.  Don’t drink too much coffee or other sources of caffeine when you are in an emotionally stressful place in life.  It could spark an anxiety attack.
  • Surroundings — Our environment has a huge impact on our mental health.  Some people can’t stand being in extreme weather like the heat of Phoenix, Arizona, the humidity of New Orleans, or the depressing winters of Seattle.  Still others find that being in crowded cities like New York, Tokyo, or Paris can cause anxiety for them.

This should give you a glimpse of what causes anxiety attacks for you.  It is always a good idea to see a professional therapist or psychologist to help pinpoint the causes of your anxiety attacks.  They can also help you formulate a good strategy for treating the problem and getting it under control.

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