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Panic anxiety attacks are usually known to take their sufferers by surprise – one minute you are walking down the street feeling that everything is great “peachy keen” and poof! Out of the blues you suddenly feel like Rocky is having a sparing session with your heart. That is not the bad part, if this incidence took place on your street; trust me, you may never live it down (at least for as long as you live on that block).

There many things that could trigger panic anxiety attacks but panic attacks occur without warning and symptoms include:

    Sweating
    Choking sensation
    Trembling or shaking
    Palpitations, pounding heart beat
    Chest pain and discomfort
    Shortness breath
    Nausea or abdominal discomfort
    Chills or hot flashes
    Fear of death and dying
    Fear of losing or fear of going crazy
    Feeling dizzy, unsteady, faint or light headedness
    Feeling of unreality
    Numbness

Causes of panic anxiety attacks include:

1)    Medications
Antibiotic drugs such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) or fluoroquinolone are sometimes listed with side effects that include panic attacks. These side effects may be temporary, only occurring when a patient starts using the drugs. But the medication is immediately changed if panic attacks persist. Almost the entire SSRI type of antidepressants can lead to increased anxiety at first time use. First time users usually experience panic attacks especially individuals that are prone to anxiety. 
2)    Biological factors
Obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, vitamin b deficiency, Wilson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, mitral valve prolapsed, tapeworm, inappropriate diet and other bodily infections can cause panic anxiety attacks.
3)    Maintaining causes
Withheld feelings, avoiding panic triggering situations or environments, negative self talk or lack of assertiveness - running from a problem only makes the situation worse.
4)    Hereditary factor
According to studies, panic disorder is known to “run in the family”, this means that it can be passed on from parent to child.
5)    Alcohol withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal is also known to cause panic attacks, because several substances whether prescribed or not can cause anxiety attacks as part of their withdrawal syndrome.

6)    Pharmacological triggers
Stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, amphetamine etc contain certain chemical substances, which contribute to triggering panic attacks in individuals who are prone to anxiety and still can’t get through a day without their “morning coffee”.
7)    Chronic illness
Illnesses such as cardiac conditions that usually lead to sudden death (or other serious ailments) can also cause panic anxiety attacks.
8)    Phobias
Individuals will definitely experience panic attacks if they are exposed to objects or situations that they are afraid of.
9)    Short-term triggering causes
Emotional attachment romantic partner, stimulants (caffeine or nicotine), significant life transitions, great personal loss can act as panic attack triggers.

Panic attacks can affect the way you live your life because it interferes with day-to-day activities because a sufferer is busy thinking of non-existent dangers instead of going out and having fun – Hey, we only have one life to live and it would be a shame to waste it on unnecessary worries, Hakuna Matata!