Untriggered panic attacks

Young women are at high risk of untriggered panic attacks

Everyone who suffers from panic attacks has a panic trigger, and these can vary greatly by age, gender and even location.  For example, men are almost 20% more likely than women to be triggered by being in a crowded room. 40% of men listed this as their main panic attack trigger, compared to 33% of women, an increase of 18.5%.

But not everyone knows what their own trigger is.

This is according to new data gathered by bcalm.


Untriggered panic

Some people told us that they suffered regular panic attacks, but couldn’t identify the cause.

Women are significantly more likely to be prone to this type of panic episode, meaning there is no specific trigger for them to identify. This can be a problem in and of itself, as without a known trigger, sufferers are left open to the possibility that an episode could happen regardless of context. They’re unable to avoid unknown triggers in the way people with known triggers can.

As well as this phenomenon affecting women disproportionately, it also affects young people. Adults aged under 24 are the most likely demographic to be triggered without warning.


Age impact on panic triggers

Age generally plays an interesting role in trigger propensity.

Youngsters are the most prone to being triggered while driving. 18-24 year olds are 33% more likely to have a panic attack while driving than the over-55s. This may be linked to driving experience and the fact that new drivers are likely to be more nervous when taking the wheel.

People aged between 25-34 are twice as likely as people aged 35-44 to experience a panic attack on a flight. But the latter group are just over 20% more likely to experience a panic attack due to being in a crowded room, suggesting that personal interactions are more likely to impact panic attacks as we get older.

The role of location also has an impact on the likelihood of certain triggers. For example, people living in London are less likely than anyone else in the UK to be triggered while driving. This could be linked to the lower number of car owners per head in the capital*.

But despite their relatively relaxed attitude toward driving, Londoners are the most likely to experience a panic attack onboard a plane. More than 1 in 10 Londoners cites plane travel as their top source of panic, more than double the national average.


What can be done?

Experts often advise panic attack sufferers to desensitise themselves to the triggers that cause them problems. But this is often difficult on a practical level. Finding a crowded room or paying for a flight with the purpose of ‘taking ownership’ of a panic trigger is not a sustainable treatment modality. And for those with unknown triggers, it’s virtually impossible.

Instead, we believe panic attack sufferers can combat a lot of their issues relating to panic disorder with our device. Especially those who don’t know what the trigger is.

Bcalm is a revolutionary device, shaped like an inhaler, that helps people find relief from panic attacks. It works on the basis that panic attacks are as much a physiological phenomenon as they are psychological. In other words, your brain tells your body to react to panic triggers in a specific way. Using the device tackles the physical response, rather than aiming to unpack and reassemble the psychological drivers.

The idea for the product was originally conceived by two of the world‘s leading panic disorder and addiction medical professionals, Dr Stephen Cox and Dr David Sinclair. They saw there was nothing on the market that would quickly help their patients during a panic episode and decided to develop a suitable product – bcalm was the result.


About the data

bcalm commissioned One Poll to survey 1,000 panic sufferers in the UK during the period 25th April 2017 to 9th May 2017. All respondents reported having suffered a panic attack. OnePoll are members of ESOMAR and employ members of the Marketing Research Society (MRS).

*DVLA data