Causes of panic disorder

Though it’s not well understood, there are several possible causes of panic disorder, including:

  • Genetics: There may be a genetic component to panic disorder. For example, if your parents live with panic disorder, you may have an increased chance of developing the disorder.
  • Chemical imbalance: An imbalance of certain brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, may also contribute to panic disorder.
  • Experiences: Having experienced something that is traumatic or upsetting, such as grief or violence, or experiencing stressful situations. Panic disorder may be onset soon after the event or may only arise years later.
  • Drug use: Some drugs and substances, such as caffeine or alcohol, may make some people more anxious than others.

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