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What causes anxiety attacks?

By June 25, 2014 - 1:06pm
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How come some people get a full blown attack while others just feel anxious then it goes away? What is different between each person that they are affected by this differently?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Carrie

Thanks for your post! 

Anxiety attacks occur when a person is not able to cope with a certain situation and develops a severe emotional response as a result. Symptoms include shaking, crying, hiding, sweating, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat and curling into a ball.  These attacks can be very frightening. 

The answer to your other question can come down to the personality and temperament of a person. 

Why are some cats friendly and love to sit in laps and others are content with looking down their noses at us?! It comes down to personality and the brain and chemical makeups that we have. 

But another, important factor may be how we were raised. Anxious parents tend to have anxious kids. If there is a home filled with anxiety and fear, it's very hard to leave all that behind once we turn 18. We may respond to ordinary circumstances in extraordinary ways if we were raised in a home that did the same. 

Parents who are relaxed, kind and who allow freedom of expression for their children are more likely to have well-balanced, emotionally healthy adult children.  

Also remember that those suffering from anxiety attacks may have post-traumatic stress disorders or a chemical imbalance in their brain.  They may also suffer poor health or insomnia, causing more dramatic, emotional reactions. 

So there are both physical/mental AND environmental factors at work. 

Check out our Anxiety Disorders Center here: 


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June 26, 2014 - 11:50am
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