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Getting To The Root of Anxiety and Panic 

There are millions of people who are stricken with panic attacks.  They have an incredible sense of fear while there may be no danger.  Their breath is quick and their heart is racing. They feel as if they are in a situation that they cannot get out of, like they are in a room with the walls closing in.  They do not know what to do, they cannot get a grip on reality.  Millions of people experience overwhelming anxiety and panic, some more frequently than others.  Yet where does it come from?  Why are so many people suddenly overcome with terror?  This is something that there seems to be no definitive answer to.

  Scientists have been searching for the answer, believing that the root of anxiety and panic attacks lie somewhere in the genes. There have been experiments done in an attempt to isolate the gene that may be causing sporadic spurts of terror and panic, believing that it is hereditary.  It is said that if there is a history of panic attacks in the family, it is eight times more likely to be inherited.  Perhaps panic attacks are genetic, however this is only theory that is still being tested.

 There are others who believe that the panic attack is triggering the “fight – or – flight” response that is rooted deep within the brain.  It is the part of the brain that takes over when a person is in immediate physical danger or is in a situation where they must react quickly and without thought.  They will either have the response to fight the danger or flee from it.  However, many people who are experiencing anxiety and panic are not in any physical danger.  The danger could be that they are in a generally unfavorable situation such as losing a job, breaking up with somebody close, or the number of other situations that would lead somebody to panic.

It could be that the cause of panic attacks is indeed based in genes and people who experience anxiety and panic attacks are reacting to a situation that they subconsciously see as overwhelming or even threatening.  The dangers that ancient people had to deal with have simply been exchanged with present dangers.  Situations involving money can be very stressful and could initiate a panic attack.  A troubled relationship can be uncertain and could cause somebody to feel anxiety about the future and about their present situation.

Although the cause of anxiety and panic attacks remains unclear, what is known is that is millions of people are experiencing them every day.  There are methods that are used to help cope with frequent panic attacks, such as taking medication or practicing breathing exercises.  Even though many people have to experience these frequent bouts of terror and fear, there are ways to help deal with this unfortunate condition.  One day scientists may have the answer to the root of panic and anxiety attacks, until then there are ways to help people cope with anxiety and panic.