What Causes Panic Attacks?

Are anxiety and panic attacks making it difficult for you to enjoy your daily life? If you’re like most people who suffer from high levels of anxiety and experience panic attacks on a regular basis, you may not be aware of what your “triggers” are.

I talk more about what causes panic attacks and anxiety in my book, Panic Away. In most cases, the trigger for panic attacks and other forms of general anxiety are related to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Basically, you are more vulnerable to having a panic attack or experiencing an uncomfortable level of anxiety when you are stressed out, burned out, or aren’t getting enough rest. Physical exhaustion can be the result of overwork or not getting enough stress. It may also be the result of bad eating habits, or a lack of quality nutrition.

Mental exhaustion can be the result of excessive worrying and mental stress. If you constantly feel mentally drained and are finding it difficult to cope with your emotions, you may be at risk for having a panic or anxiety attack. Emotional exhaustion is similar in this respect. Conflict with loved ones and relationship problems can be triggers for panic attacks.

Ultimately, all of these triggers make it difficult for the mind and body to find rest and be peaceful. In many cases, these situations can make you feel very edgy, and you may even be more fearful than normal. In a sensitized state, small things can cause excessive anxiety and make you vulnerable to a full-blown panic or anxiety attack.

Physical symptoms of an oncoming panic attack include sweating, feelings of choking, numbness, nausea and even chest pain. Sensitized people can’t help but become worried about these sensations, and this can lead to panicky feelings which trigger either a situational or spontaneous panic attack.

Excessive anxiety and panic attacks can be eliminated. Never for a moment feel that you will be stuck with this problem forever. You won’t! Take the first step towards an anxiety free life by learning more on this web site.

14 replies on “What Causes Panic Attacks?

  • Martin Rauscher

    Barry I really appreciate the information you give us about panic attacks, they are a big help. Recently I have started keeping a journal of what was happening just before that flush feeling goes speeding through your body. By keeping track of what is going onI dont have to guess about how many Lorazepams I took and then worry about that also I can refer to my journal anytime and it helps me to contain some of the feelings that I experience, especially if they are not so common. When I am really close to loosing it I go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and talk to the person looking back at me and tell him to just handle it and stop bothering me with all his problems, sometimes that works. I have gotten so much from your letters that I would miss them if they were to stop. Keep up the good work. Marty Rauscher

  • Judy

    Hi Barry,when I read your recent email saying about how my anxiety can be a good thing in the end because it can make more aware of how you feel then ever,I got quite emotional as you know it’s a long journey and hard to hold on some days.Thankyou for your email.

  • Patricia Vaughan

    Hi Barry, Thankyou for all your help! My panic attacks started after self medicating with st Johns Wart. The more anxious, the more I took. When this didn.t help my GP prescribed medication ‘ok with st johns wart in my system? ‘no problem;’ he replied. WRONG! st johns wart and anti depressants great recipe for panic attacks, sleeplessness, agitation, elation, no appitite, I was hospitalised! The long and short of it is, presently on medication and feel really well, but desire a life free of medication. Advice; pill reduction needs to be made very, very slowly. This will be my New Years resolution; I believe in your help Barry and will be practicing your advice with the withdrawal. Thank you again.

  • Debbie Fitzsimmons

    I’m so happy to know that there is someone out there that knows exactly what i’m going through AND understands how frightening and distressed it can leave me.
    I have been searching for years for something to alleviate the stress and panic when it arises and have literally spent thousands of dollars on doctors, books etc to get help and to be honest, i think i’m at my worst at the moment.
    Hoping that you are able to help me.
    Thank you,

  • Aaron M.

    Thank you Joe, and God bless you,your efforts and acomplishments are comended …they have help me regain control of a dark emotion..Thank you again for your valuable insight….

  • Monica

    It’s good to know that one is not alone with this and that there are those out there who understand what we go through on a regular basis. No matter how or what I’ve tried, I can’t seem to break free.

    I too have tried self help, doctors, books and programs including Panic Away. I’m no better off then when it all rematerialized over 3 years ago.

    I do though, appreciate the newsletters and being able to read comments from others. Having a support system directly or indirectly provides comfort.

  • aaofa

    i had started on medication again wen i fell pregnant n quickly had to come off.after a week i was over withdrawal symptoms adn for my whole pregnancy i didnt have an attack.it was brilliant.shortly after my son was born i had more attacks so im starting to tink its more a state of idle mind dat causes mine.wen my 2 kids have me busy im fine its wen i sit and have time to relax n tink dat i have attacks.im going to read barrys book and hope i can be free form attacks for good

  • Martin Rauscher

    HI Barry, last week I went to an EENT doctor because of the severe dizziness I was having. At times I had a difficult time even walking. As she (the doctor) was talking to me she said, “Have you listened to the way you talk and the trouble you have finding the words you want to use”? I knew that I had that problem and so did almost everyone I knew, and it is very irritating to groop for words that use to come so easy. The doctor went on to say I was lithargic and she said, “you are over medicated”. Well since that time I have tried to cut back on all the meds I have been taking, and I thought I was getting a handle on it. This past Sunday I felt better than I had in 6 months and was so so happy, I did not even have a PA for 3 days, but yesterday they were there I could feel them waiting to attack, and today my head is again spinning off my shoulders. I do believe I am over medicated without a doubt, but it is a process that must be handled with care. If you stop taking your meds all at once you will probably do more harm than good, it must be a slow process with the help of you MD or shrink. I know I must stay busy and keep my mind occupied with things to do, people to talk to. Try not to be alone to much. Your newsletters and comments from others who suffer this terrible feeling I get a lot of help. Watch what meds you take and dont try to keep changing them yourself, it does not work, you need your MD to talk to and advise you. I wish these PA were people that I could just grab my the throat and strangle, and sometimes that is what I try to do and it helps some. Thanks for your help.

  • Ronan R

    i had my first panic attack in months yesterday during work it was horrible id still been feeling very agitated and anxious but i thought i was over the attacks i still got most of the physical symptoms but thought i was managing its been over a year now and its driving me up the walls some advice or words of incouragment would be great thanks.

  • Emmet

    Dia duit Barry
    A few words. I found the program both effective and reassuring. I could relate to the majority of symptoms described which was a great source of comfort. Apparently it’s not a brain tumour causing the blurred vision. This time last year I was finding it difficult to go for a run without suffering from blurred vision and wondering what the hell was going on with me. Panic attacks were a constant companion. The first major one terrified the life out of me and I was so certain the grim reaper had his hand on my shoulder. But guess what, as you predicted, I did not die. I’m still here. The onslaught began and I survived all those as will fellow sufferers. Trouble was each time I had one I was sure that this was it.
    Your advice to accept them and basically tell them to bring it on worked wonders. They are still lurking around and attempt to attack, but now I handle them and invite them in. I’m not very good company for them now though so usually they just melt away. Looking forward to complete freedom.

  • Brett King

    When I was 26 years old I was diagnosed with Agoraphobia .. I went to Medical Doctor’s . Psychologist’s .
    and Psychiatrist’s in a desperate search for help. I suffered from anxiety . panic attacks . and depression!
    I allowed anxiety to rule my life and because of it I’ve lost some very good jobs . some very good friends .
    and I missed out on traveling . and to this day I can only travel within an 8 mile radius of my home.
    I just turned 64 in March and when I look back and realize that I allowed anxiety and panic attacks to
    rule my life for the last 38 years I get very angry and very depressed.
    After a 38 year fight I was ready to throw in the towel and put an end to this nightmare .. I’m Catholic and
    very religious so on Sunday I went to church . I sat in the very back all by myself and began to cry ..
    I prayed and prayed and I begged God for help. That evening my cousin called me from Connecticut
    and told me about the ” Panic Away ” program and he purchased it for me. And for the first time in
    38 years I really believe that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel! I’m learning to deal with the panic
    attacks and I truly believe that Acceptance is the key! Thanks to Barry I’m determined to beat this
    and I would recommend this program to everyone that suffers from anxiety and panic attacks .. I wish
    that I had discoverd this program years ago. Barry you’re a Saint ! Brett King ( Maine )

  • Ye Yint

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for your newsletter.I’m much feeling better by reading your articles.I’m also trying to have a healthy lifestyle by exercising and keeping on healthy diet.It may take sometimes but I believe that my problems will go away.Once and for all.From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.God bless!

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