Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry


The Main Causes of Panic Attacks

People who experience panic attacks often are mistakenly led to believe that it is their own fault for having them. Because of this, they will feel angry at themselves even if panic attacks are beyond their control. The underlying causes of panic attacks are the following:

  • Genetic Predisposition

If there’s any reason that could prove to people that panic attacks are truly beyond their control, it’s this one. Most of the times, there is a genetic factor involved with panic attacks. This means that most people who experience this are already born being prone to develop panic attacks. Humans are all born with innate tendencies that exist in our biological instincts from birth. Panic attacks can be considered as one of these tendencies, but luckily we are living in a civilized world, and these tendencies can be overcome through certain techniques.

  • Constant Anxiety-filled Atmosphere during Childhood

Secondly, people who develop panic attacks may not have been born with it, but were exposed to a series of unfortunate, anxiety-causing events that led them to experience extreme levels of anxiety early on. This is also out of a person’s control, because childhood is a time when many situations and decisions are not yours to make, as you are still in the early stages of learning and absorbing information. During this time, this learning process would have been affected by numerous reasons, such as a sudden death in the family, a severe type of illness, divorce, or any situation that could have gotten in the way of growing up believing the world was still a safe and happy place.

  • Emerging as an Adult

Transitioning from the innocence of the childhood stage to the rough splash in the face of the adult stage is filled with not only wonder, new opportunities, and bigger adventure, but also with the introduction of high levels of stress and new responsibilities. Finally stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring both the good and bad of the world can open your eyes up to events that can truly cause anxiety, such as a toxic relationship, a stressful job, or drama within your social circle. Many changes which are natural, such as finishing school, moving homes, or applying for a job may also be a source of stress that could accumulate until the individual can have a much too difficult time trying to cope with it.

Studies show that most people who develop panic attacks experience the first symptoms in their early twenties and thirties. These are the years that mark the beginning of your independent life, and the decisions and lifestyle you choose to make for yourself are what can greatly affect your risk for anxiety attacks.

  • These Factors Have a Common Denominator

When factoring in math, you look for a common denominator to help you solve the problem. Similarly, these three factors all have a common denominator— none of them are under your own control.

Genetics, early exposure to extreme stress, and adulthood are all developmental events in life that will inevitably happen to people. No matter how much you blame yourself, life will go on its way. The best you can do is to come to terms with the situation and try not to feel guilty or ashamed of panic attacks. With the proper guidance, you can overcome these factors

What these three factors have in common is that none of them were under your own control. These are all developmental events in life which happen to some people. The factors which cause panic attacks are not something you could have controlled.

There is therefore no reason to feel guilty, ashamed, or apologetic about having panic attacks. They are not the result of living badly; or of making bad choices; or of being “stupid”, or cowardly.

Leave a Comment