Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 2: Causes and Symptoms

*Revised on May 17, 2015
*Revised on May 23, 2015
*Revised on May 31, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015

*If you have not read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 1: Definitions, go read that first if you’d like.
There are probably an infinite amount of different causes for and symptoms from these overwhelming anxious feelings, however, these are some of the causes and symptoms of anxiety attacks, nervous breakdowns, and panic attacks. Many causes and symptoms are shared between the three, but here are only some examples. Also, each example has a link on it to a definition of the example, an explanation of how it is related to these attacks or breakdowns, or their own symptoms, so if you want to continue your learning on these topics, feel free to start here.

Anxiety Attack Causes 
-Brain malfunctions (such as Encephalopathy) [1]
-Constant feelings of tension or stress
Environmental stress
Excessive worrying
-Serious fears or phobias  

Anxiety Attack Symptoms
-Difficulty concentrating or sleeping [2]
Heart palpitations
Muscle tension [3]
-Uncontrollable shaking or trembling

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Nervous Breakdown Causes 
Death of a loved one
Financial troubles
Personal relationship issues [4]

Nervous Breakdown Symptoms
Breathing problems
-Fear (see Anxiety Attack Causes for more information)
-Irregular heartbeat (Heart arrhythmia) [5]

Teddy alone on the wet path
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Panic Attack Causes
Predisposition due to genetics [6]
Post-traumatic stress

Panic Attack Symptoms
Breathing troubles
Chest Pain
Chills or hot flashes
Heart Palpitations
Vertigo [7]

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Many of these symptoms can go on to cause other things as well; it does not simply stop. Here is a chart of some of the symptoms previously mentioned and some of the side-effects of these symptoms.

SYMPTOMS EFFECTS (or Symptoms of the Symptoms)
Anger [8] -digestive issues
-heart attacks/strokes
-high blood pressure
-skin problems

Difficulty concentrating [9] -emotional stress
-hormonal changes
-possible relation to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Difficulty sleeping [10] -anger
-memory loss
-slowed reaction time
-slowed thought process

Dissociation [11] -feeling detached from yourself
-feeling unsure of who you are
-forgetting things very easily
-getting lost very easily
-internal voices

Guilt [12] -aggressive behaviour
-diverting blame onto others

Instability [13] -balance issues/trouble standing and walking
-mood swings (intense depression and mania)

Muscle tension [14] -immediate pain
-long-term pain

Paranoia [15] -confusion
-low self esteem
-possibility of serious conditions (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia)

Sleepwalking [16] -night terrors
-risk of hurting oneself or others

Vertigo [17] -dizziness
-feeling lightheaded
-probable relation to mental diseases or disorders

*If you’d like to learn more, you can read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 3: Help
[1] “Anxiety Disorders: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.”WebMD. WebMD, 2014. Web. 2 May 2015. <>.
[2] Smith, Melinda, M. A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal. “Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks: A Guide to the Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options.”, Apr. 2015. Web. 2 May 2015. <>.
[3] MacMillan, Amanda. “12 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder.” Health Media Ventures, Inc., 2015. Web. 2 May 2015. <,,20646990,00.html>.
[4] Remedios, Trina. “Mental Health: 16 Signs of Nervous Breakdown.” Healthmeup. Times Internet Limited, 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 4 May 2015. <>.
[5] Prior, Elly. “Signs and Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown You Should Not Ignore.”Professional Counselling. Web. 4 May 2015. <>.
[6] Carbonell, David. “What Causes Panic Attacks?” What Causes Panic Attacks?N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. <>.
[7] “Panic Attacks Symptoms, Causes, Treatment – What Are Causes and Risk Factors for Panic Attacks?” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 May 2015. <>.
[8] Collins, Danica. “The Deadly Effects of Anger on Your Health and Mind.”Underground Health Reporter. Underground Health Reporter, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. <>.
[9] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad. “Concentration Problems: Check Your Symptoms and Signs.” Concentration Problems: Check Your Symptoms and Signs. MedicineNet, Inc., 3 June 2012. Web. 11 May 2015. <>
[10] Feature, Camille PeriWebMD. “Sleepiness: Cognitive and Emotional Effects.”WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 11 May 2015. <>
[11] “Dissociative Disorders.” Dissociative Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
[12] Barker, Phil. “Guilt and Shame.” Beyond Intractability. University of Colorado, July 2003. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
[13]  Burtchell, Jeri. “Understanding and Managing Multiple Sclerosis Mood Swings.” Healthline. Health Networks, Inc., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
[14] Bushak, Lecia. “These Are The Ways That Stress Affects Your Body.” Medical Daily. IBT Media Inc., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 May 2015. <>.
[15] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad. “Paranoia (Paranoid Thoughts): Check Your Symptoms and Signs.” Paranoia (Paranoid Thoughts): Check Your Symptoms and Signs. MedicineNet, Inc., 25 June 2014. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
[16] “Sleepwalking Causes, Safety Concerns.” Remedy’s Health Community. Remedy Health Media, 1 Dec. 2000. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
[17] “Vertigo & Dizziness Affect On The Body.” Sharecare. Sharecare, Inc., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.

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