In order to understand Panic Disorder and ultimately the causes of panic disorder, one must know what a panic attack is. A panic attack is an overwhelming feeling of anxiety and fear. A panic attack happens when a fight-or-flight response, an instinctual response for survival in animals and humans, is activated when faced with a potentially dangerous situation.
While panic attacks, which usually last a few minutes before dissipating, are quite normal, a panic disorder is a much more serious case.
A Panic disorder is when a fight-or-flight response is triggered even when there is no impending danger. When a panic attack occurs repeatedly without reason, then it is a sign that one has panic disorder. The anxiety felt can be seen through physical symptoms such as troubled breathing, tightness in the chest, racing heartbeat or heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, dizziness, shaking and numbness.
Those who suffer from a panic disorder are constantly afraid of the next panic attack because of its spontaneous nature and would avoid any situation where help could be unavailable. People suffering from panic disorder usually have the beginnings of agoraphobia.
Causes Of Panic Disorder
It is unclear what the specific causes of panic disorder are, but the development of panic disorder can be attributed to a combination of biological and environmental factors.
The constant panic attacks are caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters help in the transmission of messages to the brain and with the imbalance, the reaction of the brain to certain situations are altered, causing a fight-or-flight response to be triggered even without reason.
Panic disorder can run in the family. Studies have shown that children who have parents who suffer from panic disorder are more likely to develop the disorder themselves. Studies have also shown that those who have depression or bipolar disorder are likely to have children who have a high risk of developing panic disorder too.
Causes of Panic disorder can also develop from environmental reasons.
It has been found that children who have been exposed to anxiety are likely to develop an anxiety disorder as well. An overprotective parenting style can also contribute to the development of the disorder. Life events that could cause severe stress could trigger the beginnings of this anxiety disorder. Symptoms of panic disorder could also begin to show during childhood, when the child experiences trauma or abuse during their formative years. Finally, panic disorder can be triggered by hypersensitivity to sensations that they believe are dangerous.
Whether biological or environmental, it is important to be aware of these causes of panic disorder as to prevent further development in an individual.
When it comes to treating panic disorder, working out the causes of it is one of the most important steps. Whether it be hereditary, an environmental issue or a social issue, working out the causes of your panic disorder is the first step towards treatment.