Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Symptoms of Anxiety Attacks in Women: Common Causes

If you have ever had an anxiety attack, you know just how terrifying it can be. Suddenly and without warning your heart starts to pound, you feel dizzy and nauseous, and you just want to get away from the place where the attack strikes. Symptoms of anxiety attack in women can vary, depending on the severity of the episode. In extremely severe attacks, the sufferer may feel like she's losing control of her surroundings, become disconnected or even feel like dying.

What is it exactly that triggers anxiety symptoms in women? While some anxiety attacks are isolated episodes triggered by stress, most symptoms have underlying issues that warrant immediate attention. This is because, although stress and anxiety symptoms are closely related, anxiety attacks can be caused by factors other than stress that may lead to more serious mental conditions, such as panic disorder or anxiety disorder. If you want to stop panicking and lead a normal, social life, your first step should be to understand the causes of your attacks.

Probable Causes

So, what are the causes? The truth is, it's not entirely understood. As with most other emotional symptoms, the onset of an attack or the development of a disorder can be attributed to a combination of factors. These include an individual's personality, her outlook on life, her mindset and ways of thinking, and her biological vulnerabilities, physiological factors and social stressors.

In biological terms, an anxiety attack occurs when the body's fight-or-flight response misfires. The fight-or-flight response can be thought of as the body's alarm system. It is controlled by a complex set of mental and physical mechanisms that, when confronted with an imminent threat in our environment, prepares us to respond to the danger.

We are inherently 'designed' to save ourselves and to avoid situations that could pose a threat to our emotional or physical well-being. When faced with a threat, our fight-or-flight response kicks in, and makes us ready to "fight" the threat or take "flight" and escape from it. When this response is triggered unnecessarily, without a rational danger in our environment, we have an anxiety attack.

Although it's not clear why this response misfires in some people, what researchers do know is that some women are more susceptible than others. One factor is heredity. Scientists have found that genes play a strong role in the development of this condition, that it tends to run in families, and that a twin is especially vulnerable if the other twin has had an attack in the past. While these results suggest a strong connection between symptoms of anxiety attack in women and her genes, there are many women with no family history who may develop this disorder.

Anxiety symptoms in women were once viewed as being purely emotional. However, today, after more than 30 years of research, we know that it has very real physiological causes. One of the most common physiological causes is hormonal imbalance. Others include adrenal imbalance, digestive imbalance, and thyroid problems.

Another possibility is nutritional deficiencies of certain minerals in our diet. However, this link too is weak at best. Some studies have found that deficiencies of zinc and magnesium may be linked to a higher risk, whereas others have found the results too inconclusive to establish a link to symptoms of anxiety in women.

Social Causes

Perhaps one of the most important risk factors can be studied from a social standpoint. Adolescents or adults who have been physically or sexually abused as children are the most prone to develop panic and other anxiety disorders later in her life. If the individual already suffers from another mental disease, the likelihood of developing panic disorder is even greater. In these people, the first attack is often triggered by a major physical ailment, a life-changing event, stress, or taking medication that stimulate parts of the brain that control fear reactions.

Article Source: Eskay Isis

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