Certain Life Experiences Can Cause Anxiety Disorders

What are the triggers for anxiety and panic attacks? Learn about these anxiety and panic attack triggers and how they can be avoided.There are many triggers that can cause anxiety and panic attacks. Some of the triggers include:

  • Grief - Death in the family, death of a parent, death of a close friend, spouse

  • Financial difficulties - loss of a job, overwhelming debt, problems at work, etc.

  • Major trauma - such as:

    • being assaulted or robbed

    • being in an automobile accident

    • being involved in a major natural catastrophe, such as an earthquake, flood, fire and tornado

    • witnessing a violent crime

    • a life-threatening experience

    • childhood trauma/abuse

  • Divorce or leaving an abusive relationship

  • Major illness

We can also have a build-up of stress, that can take weeks, months, or even years to reach the boiling point. When stress reaches this level, it can cause anxiety to progress into a significant problem, resulting in a disruption in a person's life.

Not all anxiety triggers come from "bad" events. There can also be "good things" happening that trigger anxiety; for instance, planning a wedding, having a baby or starting a new relationship.

There are also conditions that mimic anxiety disorders, such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome. That's one of the reasons why it's important to have a professional evaluation.

next: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety and Panic
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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2007, February 19). Certain Life Experiences Can Cause Anxiety Disorders, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Last Updated: July 1, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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