I am 59 and I'm going through a bad time with panic attacks. I hadn't had any for years, now they've started, again. That's the way it's always been they come and go without warning. I had my first panic attack when I was 10. I also have major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Read The Anxiety Disease by Dr. David Sheehan. If have absolutely no financial or personal investment in this book. He gives an excellent description of possible causes of panic attacks, as does Dr. Harold Levinson in his book Phobia Free. Both helped me immensely and gave me reassurance which I badly needed. Still have those books.
Unfortunately, they just don't have for-sure answers, even now, in 2014. But I think they're getting close. From what I understand there are multiple causes, including early childhood worry/fears, continued 'hypervigilance', too much caffeine (and some report onset of panic with marijuana use), putting yourself under too much stress, plus a genetic/familial history of this disorder. Also not receiving an early diagnosis/explanation, not receiving early cognitive-behavioral treatment, and support people/family members not providing support and understanding. A bunch of causes, all adding up.
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