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What causes a person to get a panic attack?

Posted Jun 16 2010 12:06pm

What are the usual reasons why somebody would get a panic attack ?

Its complicated.
Basically, it has to do with some sense of underlying anxiety about something.
It usually has nothing to do with what the person is doing when they have a panic attack.
For some reason, anxiety is elevated at a certain place and the person begins to associate that place or those circumstances with their physical reaction.
I think a lot of panic attacks are directly related to anxiety disorder, or what I have been told "anticipatory anxiety."
There is a feeling one has to be perfect. One has to behave in a certain way. One is unsure of their surroundings, perhaps from being overly criticized during their childhood or perhaps just an inherited tendency.
I have suffered with this since my middle teens and I am now over 50. I’ve been through therapy off and on over all those years. I still deal with anxiety issues, but I don’t have the debilitating panic attacks anymore thanks to cognitive therapy. It really works. It takes time and effort, but it continues to work for me.
The last real panic attack I had, I was sitting on the edge of my bed tying my tennis shoes. Why should I have a panic attack about that? I took a deep breath and I said, "Bring it on, you don’t scare me anymore." It vanished, just like that.
As I said, I had a lot of therapy and even had to take some medication for a short period of time (2 months). I still have situations where I have anxiety, but there’s just too much I want to do and I don’t want to be held back from doing them.

I hope I’ve answered your question, likely given given you more info than you asked for.

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