5 Factors That Can Cause Anxiety Attacks

Having an anxiety attack can be a terrifying experience. You might have difficulty breathing, intense chest pains, dizziness, nausea and/or extreme fear. While the exact reasons for why a person might have a panic attack aren’t completely clear, there are some factors to consider. Here are five that might cause one.


5 Factors that Can Cause Anxiety Attacks

By Teen Rehab

Having an anxiety disorder that can lead to panic attacks is an extremely stressful mental health condition. It’s not absolutely understood why people have panic attacks, but there are many factors to consider.

  • 1. Severe Stress or Trauma

    By Teen Rehab

    An [extremely stressful or traumatic life event](http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-panic-disorder#2) can cause an individual to experience a panic attack. This might include being fired, experiencing significant school stress, encountering abuse, or going through the death of a loved one.

  • 2. Major Life Transition

    By Teen Rehab

    [A major life transition](http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorders.htm) can cause overwhelming anxiety and lead to an attack, even if it’s a positive change. For example, a wedding, new job or big move can all induce unwanted panic attacks simply due to the stress they typically bring.

  • 3. Triggers From the Past

    By Teen Rehab

    [If you have experienced a panic attack in the past](http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/panic-attacks-and-panic-disorders.htm), that situation you were in could trigger one in the future. For example, if you experienced an anxiety attack while in an elevator, elevators in general could have the risk of triggering an overwhelming sense of anxiety.

  • 4. Family History

    By Teen Rehab

    [Panic disorders can sometimes run in families](http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-panic-disorder#2), and they can be a genetic disorder in the same way as heart disease. If you have a panic disorder, it is more likely that your teen will develop one as well, making them more susceptible to anxiety attacks.  

  • 5. Brain Chemistry

    By Teen Rehab

    [Our body has a natural “fight or flight” system](http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8872.php) that is propelled by adrenaline. When adrenaline is released into our bodies, it can increase our heart rate, breathing and body temperature. When our body creates too much adrenaline when we don’t actually need to use for fight or for flight, it can build up and cause a panic attack.


Feature image Rachel Johnson