The cause of panic attack is always the same - fear hardwiring

The pathway that is the cause of panic attack, is the same for everyone.

Yet the triggers of anxiety and panic attacks will be as numerous as there are people on the face of this earth.
The cause of any anxiety or the cause of panic attack is a complex physiological , neurological, emotional "dance" that has been "over conditioned" (inappropriately) into the part of the brain that stores our fearful emotional memories
- the amygdala.

Even as early as 1890, psychologist William James ventured that "an impression may be so exciting emotionally as almost to leave a scar upon the cerebral tissues."

The cause of panic attack, and other kinds of anxiety disorders - lies in the "cognitive" versus "emotional" connections to and from the amygdala.

What are emotions?

These are the "hardwired" responses in the brain (which when triggered result in a host of accompanying lightening speed mind-body- physiological and chemical/hormonal signals and interactions)- like fear

....and what are cognitions?

These are the thoughts and beliefs that trigger and reset the hardwired response.

...and feelings?

Well, our thoughts and beliefs (cognitions) create our feelings like happiness, anger, guilt sadness , anxiety, depression, disgust, loathing, surprise, and so on.
Having identified an emotion like fear, scientists like Joseph Le Doux (famous for his book, The Emotional Brain) have asked questions like:
LeDoux then did a series of experiments with rats, in order to answer these questions.
From his studies, LeDoux has concluded that the amygdala is specialized for reacting to stimuli and triggering a physiological response, a process that he would describe as the "emotion" of fear.

The emotion of fear is distinct from a conscious feeling of fear.

Feelings, according to Le Doux, arise from a second, slower pathway that travels from the ear to the amygdala and then on to the higher cortex.

In the higher cortex, the frightening stimulus is analyzed in detail, using information from many parts of the brain, and a message is sent back down to the amygdala.

According to Le Doux, Emotion and cognition are separate but interacting mental functions mediated by separate but interacting brain systems.

Such double wiring can create problems : Neural connections from the cortex down to the amygdala are less well developed than are connections from the amygdala back up to the cortex.

And so the amygdala exerts a greater influence on the cortex than vice versa. Once an emotion is turned on, it is difficult for the cortex to turn it off. This is the root cause of panic attack.

This imbalance is why fears and other emotions can so easily overwhelm us and why it can be hard to voluntarily suppress the feelings that result when the emotions are triggered.

The human mind excels at creating fears and preserving them.

We have more fears than we need. We don't need to keep them hard-wired into our systems.

This is the cause of panic attack and anxiety attack. The more fears you learn,and then imagine, the more anxious you will be.

The brain is remarkably efficient in it's ability to quickly create memories out of stimuli that are connected to hazards, then preserve them for a long time and automatically put them to use when similar situations arise in the future.
Now the reason why phobias/ anxieties /panic attacks are sometimes not easily shifted , is that it requires some effort and discipline by the sufferer in order to "recondition" their emotional pathway.
Why then, are some people able to overcome their phobias and anxieties?
These people are able to identify the trigger of their anxiety and then "recondition" their "cause of panic" pathway and "anchor" a more resourceful state of mind (cognitive state) than that of anxiety or panic.

Methods of "reconditioning" your neural pathways:

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
NLP - Modelling  new behaviours

Optimal nutrition ( You may need to use supplements!)
 - (lack of) Magnesium in the GABA pathway is a key factor in anxiety states.

People who can help:
Natural Medicine Doctors
Doctors who practise Orthomolecular Medicine

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