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What can trigger a panic attack?

If you suffer from panic attacks or have been diagnosed with panic disorder, you know how serious these episodes can be. When you’re having one, your anxiety is higher than it has ever been. You may feel like you can barely breathe or think. It’s hard to reign in your emotions. You may not even be able to move. Panic attacks, when bad enough, can essentially be a disability.

But what triggers these episodes? Do they just happen at random, without warning, or are there triggers that you can avoid?

It can work either way. Panic attacks may happen very suddenly, with no warning. They often involve an intense fear that you just cannot explain. The reasons that you feel that way may be unclear to you at the time or even afterward.

However, experts also note that specific situations can trigger the attack and that they are often related to stress. It could just be your body taking that response too far. If you experience stress at work or home, it could turn into a panic attack even when you rationally know that there is nothing to be afraid of.

In a lot of ways, panic attacks are similar to the symptoms of your fight-or-flight response. Your heart starts pounding, you start breathing heavily, and you feel as scared as if your life is in danger — even when it’s not.

If you do suffer from panic attacks and you cannot work, you may be able to get disability benefits from the government. Find out what options you have.

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