In order to start to eliminate your panic, it's critical for you to be aware of what causes panic attacks. When you know what causes a panic attack, you can be prepared and alert to the signs and symptoms. Awareness is the first step to devising any kind of change, for if you are not aware, then you can't change it.

Possible Physical Causes of Panic Attacks
If you're noticing symptoms of panic , it's wise to see your doctor to rule out the following physical conditions as possible causes of panic attacks:

  • Mitral valve prolapse, a minor cardiac problem that occurs when one of the heart's valves doesn't shut properly
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Stimulant use (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine)
  • Medication withdrawal

Other Known Causes

The following non-exhaustive list of what causes panic attacks is here for your reference.

  • Adjustment disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Amphetamine abuse
  • Anxiety disorders - certain other types of anxiety disorders can lead to panic attacks:
  • Chemical poisoning - Jet Fuel-4
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Cocaine overdose
  • Ecstasy withdrawal
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Hyperventilation
  • Inborn amino acid metabolism disorder
  • Marijuana abuse
  • Marijuana overdose
  • Myoclonic dystonia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Panic disorder with agoraphobia
  • Panic disorder without agoraphobia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Rett's syndrome
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Social phobia (affects over 10 million Americans)
  • Specific phobias
  • Stress
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder

Medications known to cause Panic Attacks

  • Cannabis
  • Catovit
  • Charas
  • Ecstasy
  • Hash
  • Marijuana
  • Mazindol
  • Prolintane
  • Sanorex

These causes of panic attacks affect over 1 million Americans:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

A person with a panic disorder, meaning that the panic attacks recur often, sooner or later develops a fear of having another attack This often actually causes a panic attack and the cycle repeats. Often, the sufferer of panic will convince himself/herself so convincingly that they are dying that many feel the need to visit the emergency room!

What Is A Panic Attack?
A panic attack is an unexpected surge of severe, overpowering anxiety and fear. Your heart may pound or it becomes difficult to breathe. You feel dizzy and sick to your stomach. You may even think like you're dying or going crazy. And the worst part of it is that panic attacks may occur any time, anywhere, without warning!

Panic is a Body-Mind Process
Although the precise causes of panic attacks and panic disorders are not well known, both the mind and the body are involved in causing panic attacks.

Stressful life transitions such as getting married, having children, getting a job, etc. can cause panic attacks. The death of a loved one, a divorce, or job loss can also trigger panic attacks.

Panic attacks may have physical roots. Some scientific investigation suggests the inclination to have panic attacks may be partly genetic, and studies with twins have shown the possibility of inheriting the panic disorder.

There also appears to be a relation with coming down with major illnesses and having panic attacks. An increase in the frequency of panic attacks has been observed in some women when they are pregnant.

There are many possible causes of your panic attacks, ranging from stress to life changes to substance abuse and side effects of medication. When panic attacks recur, you may actually become afraid of having another attack that you will cause one, creating a debilitating cycle.

By knowing the possible causes of panic and panic attacks, you can better control your environment and your state of mind, helping you avoid the situations that cause panic in you.

This article is intended only to provide general information and is not intended as an exhaustive source of information for the topics discussed. This article does not replace your relationship with any health care professional you are consulting with or consult with in the future.

Author's Bio: 

Dan DeLuca, CH, is a Certified Consulting Hypnotherapist, Author, and Coach in the fields of Life-Health Coaching, Motivation and Communication. Since 2005, Dan has been practicing Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, TimeLine Therapy and other life-changing modalities.

He is a member of the Association for Integrative Psychology, The National Guild of Hypnotists, and the American Board of Hypnotherapy.

His websites are and