5 Reasons for Anxiety Attacks from my Daily Practice

by Vlasta Kuster

Over the past 10 years, I have met many people who have suffered from anxiety attacks. They all had similar symptoms, however the reasons why the panic attacks had occurred were different.

Experiencing intense feelings of fear and being threatened was common for all the people who had suffered from anxiety attacks.

Some had a difficult childhood and had experienced stressful situations on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Others had experienced only one or two severe stressful situations.

At a first glance, some people do not know what could have been so difficult in their lives that as a consequence could have caused anxiety attacks. Yet others had pushed their bodies over the edge by overdoing it in one way or another in ​​life...

...which means that they did not get enough sleep, overworked themselves and consumed too many substances...

....and the body signaled to them via an anxiety attack that they have to change something.

You can imagine an anxiety or a panic attack as a pressure cooker.

You can imagine an anxiety or a panic attack as a pressure cooker.

An anxiety attack is always a warning for the body in that it is necessary to make a change and that the sand in the hourglass is running low and that this way of living cannot continue any further.

Let us take a closer look at which reasons lead people to have anxiety attacks.

A reason for an anxiety attack: A difficult childhood

Many people who seek help to treat anxiety attacks have had a tough childhood.

This often means that they lived in families where there was

  • violence,
  • alcohol and
  • various types of abuse ...

Children who have lived with alcoholics live in constant fear and they are always in a state of expectation, when something bad will happen ...

The father is the alcoholic who is unpredictable for the vast majority. Instead of making the child feel safe and secure, they make them feel uncertain. Sometimes he is sober and everything is fine in the family and at other times he is under the influence of alcohol again and brings restlessness, frequent strife as well as physical violence to the family...

And when this father is not at home, all the family members are tense and wondering how his condition will be when he returns home.

Will he be sober or be drunk? Will mom suffer again?

Children of alcoholics experience many negative feelings and all of these feelings also accompany them in adulthood. They usually set up a good life when they become adults but their feelings from childhood remain.

They feel anxiety, an unspecified fear of different people and a feeling that something bad will happen. They develop a belief that something is wrong with them, that they are not good enough or that they must be perfect ... and this is how they live as adults in two different worlds:

  • on the outside they can be successful and productive members of society, they can be loving parents and good partners in romantic relationships
  • on the inside, they feel exactly the same way when they were children ...

A reason for an anxiety attack: the death of a person who they were very emotionally attached to

The death of a loved one often causes anxiety attacks.

Sometimes this is a painful experience of losing the love of this person and secondly, more of a painful encounter with transience ...

Let us take a look at an example:

a little girl or boy is strongly attached to their grandmother or grandfather. The bond between them is very strong and the child feels a lot of love between them. For the child, this person is the one who has the most time for them, who unconditionally accepts them for who they are, they always find refuge with them and they represent safety and immense love for them.

Then one day this grandmother or grandfather dies and the child's world is crushed.

They suddenly lose someone who they had loved the most in the world and the one who had given them the most love. This child then develops deep feelings of fear and uncertainty. The shock is somehow recorded in the unconscious part of the child's personality and remains there for years or decades.

This child grows up and all these unconscious feelings come together with other feelings of fear, uncertainty, helplessness, the loss of love ... and thus anxiety develops, which ultimately becomes anxiety attacks in the extreme case.

Furthermore, it does not matter how many years have passed since the death of a loved one; it can be years or often even decades.

It is important that this powerful experience of the proximity of death and the experience of losing love has been recorded so powerfully into the body and soul of the person, that it can affect the person for decades.

This type of an experience can also frequently cause physical illness ...

A reason for the occurrence of anxiety attacks: Experiencing the proximity to death and intense feelings of your life being threatened

At times, the experience of death does not mean that much love lost than the sole traumatic encounter with the proximity to death does.

It is the first serious confrontation with death; with the transience of this world. It can involve a person's death from everyday life and is not necessary that we have any attachment to them.

It can involve an experience of a serious illness of a loved one, for example when a mother witnesses her child's heat cramps, the mother becomes scared during these moments as if her child is going to die.

Although the child gets healthier and their heat cramps disappear and never come back, images of the child rolling their eyes in the middle of heat cramps are still very real and alive in the mother ....

For this type of mother, the experience of witnessing their child's heat cramps is just as traumatic as the death of the child.  Due to this shock, mothers often develop and later experience anxiety attacks.

Anxiety attacks can also arise due to an unpredictable complication during an operation where a person's life actually hangs in the balance. Or because of a drowning experience or a serious traffic accident.

Whenever a person experiences strong feelings regarding their life being threatened or any proximity to death, these feelings are heavily imprinted into the subconscious.

Furthermore, anxiety attacks develop in combination with other negative experiences in life.

A reason for the emergence of anxiety: Living an unbalanced life for a longer period of time

Anxiety attacks can also arise as a result of living an unbalanced life for a longer period of time.

A person who is a workaholic is an example. 

Due to one reason or other different reasons, this person dedicates themselves to their work and does not see anything else any longer. They forget about their family, friends, entertainment, rest and the only thing they do is just work ...

....and then they find themselves in a vicious circle, where they work 16 hours a day.

This goes on day after day, month after month and maybe even maybe year after year ...

This person does not sleep enough, they eat meals on an irregular basis, they resolve many different stressful situations day after day ... and one day the body signals that they have overloaded,..

...they have crossed the threshold and the body simply cannot withstand such a lifestyle.

This person is physically healthy, however if they continue this lifestyle, it will lead to a bad outcome.

As a result, this is how anxiety attacks occur. The body wishes to point out that changes need to be made, that it is necessary to rest and that it is necessary to stop.

Anxiety attacks become such a powerful warning and everyone stops, they start visiting their physicians and they start looking for solutions to show them what to do in order to feel better.

Thus, they slowly begin to change their lifestyle.

If we would like to help such a person, it is necessary to balance their life first.

Help them

  • get enough sleep,
  • make sure they are on a healthy diet with quality nutrition and that they will also
  • have time for entertainment, for family and for friends.

It is necessary to find out what the reasons were and why they were overloading and becoming a workaholic...

Many times these people have a deep feeling that they are not good enough or that they must be perfect.

As a result, they work extremely hard for a long time and reach complete exhaustion and burnout and as a result, anxiety attacks are part of these symptoms.

A reason for panic attacks: Drug abuse (marijuana)

In some people, smoking marijuana can trigger an anxiety attack.

These people experience a severe attack when they are under the influence of marijuana.

As a rule, the attack is so powerful that people who had had such an experience, never dare to smoke marijuana or take THC in any other form again.

However, we must know that in such cases marijuana is not the cause of anxiety attacks; it is only the trigger for feelings that had already been part of the person before.

The person could have had many negative painful feelings from the past, which were safely stored and somehow subdued and did not affect the person's quality of life.

An attack is triggered after smoking marijuana, which allows these feelings to surface, as if we had opened Pandora's box ... and this is when the person's emotional hell just begins taking place.

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Vlasta Kuster, holds an MA degree in Basic Medical Sciences and uses her 3-month EFT therapy in her work to help people to do away with panic attacks and anxiety for good. She has more than 10-year experiences in EFT therapy and achieves at least 90% success in permanently eliminating anxiety and panic attacks. You may contact her through her website freeofpanic.com