A sudden fear grips you, and you begin to feel strange physical symptoms and sensations of doom and worry. Is this a panic attack? Sudden, overwhelming fear: That’s panic in a nutshell. You may have felt that kind of sudden, overwhelming fear in terrifying situations – like when you’re forced to slam on the brakes to narrowly miss a car speeding through a red light or when a large dog lunges at you with teeth bared. But a panic attack can happen at moments that have nothing to do with terror – like in the midst of a deep sleep or a dull meeting or while in a class or stuck in traffic or in line at the grocery store. And you don’t have to have a diagnosed panic disorder to experience a panic attack.
More: Panic attack symptoms: Am I having a panic attack? – Mental Health – C-Health
An imbalance of naturally occurring brain chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, are often seen in people with GAD and could be an indicator of a propensity to develop the disorder. An imbalance of these chemicals, called neurotransmitters, can impact emotional stability and mental well-being. [ Related: Nervous System: Facts, Function & Diseases ] Enduring a trauma, especially during childhood, can have a link to GAD. Those who experienced abuse or trauma, including witnessing a traumatic event, as a child are at higher risk of developing generalized anxiety disorder. Connection to addiction Many GAD sufferers will use alcohol, tranquilizers or other drugs to calm their nerves and provide them some relief. The fact that so few people with GAD receive treatment suggests that many are self-medicating. While there is a high rate of comorbidity (GAD and substance abuse occurring together) typically the GAD was present before the addiction.
More: Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | LiveScience