Panic Disorder Causes

Panic disorder is typically characterized by frequent episodes of panic that are not triggered by any specific event. Under normal circumstances, a person may experience anxiety or even a panic attack as a result of a dangerous or stressful situation, but this response is transient, lasting for only a short period of time. In the case of panic disorder, anxiety or panic attacks occur randomly and without any apparent cause.

Some of the causes or contributors to panic attacks are thought to include:

Previous traumatic life experiences

Traumatic experiences may include exposure to particularly frightening or stressful life events such as bereavement, parental divorce or physical or sexual abuse. Panic attacks may not occur immediately after or during such events, but resurface many years after the stressful situation has been resolved.

Alterations of neurotransmitters within the brain

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that transmit signals from neurons to target cells across a synapse. An imbalance in neurotransmitters can result in a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia or panic disorder.

Inherited traits

Although the exact gene responsible for causing panic disorder is not known, a family history can predispose a person to developing the condition.

Biochemical causes

An increased inhalation of carbon dioxide has been suggested to raise the risk of panic attacks among certain individuals. Other possible triggers include a low blood glucose level, overactive thyroid gland, inflammation of the inner ear (labyrinthitis), adrenal gland tumor and a prolapsed mitral valve.

Many individuals with panic disorder also interpret slightly threatening situations or physical symptoms of illness in an exaggerated manner and therefore trigger a panic attack. An excessive intake of caffeine from energy drinks or coffee for example, may also trigger a panic attack.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 17). Panic Disorder Causes. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 19, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Panic-Disorder-Causes.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Panic Disorder Causes". News-Medical. 19 July 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Panic-Disorder-Causes.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Panic Disorder Causes". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Panic-Disorder-Causes.aspx. (accessed July 19, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Panic Disorder Causes. News-Medical, viewed 19 July 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Panic-Disorder-Causes.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.