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What Happens During A Panic Attack? A 101 Course On Panic Attacks

A panic attack is something that can happen without warning. You could be shopping or enjoying your coffee and then suddenly become confused (and that’s just for starters). When you suffer from a sudden panic attack, you think you’re going crazy and you feel like something bad is going to happen. You may feel a strong desire to leave the place you’re at and run to your car or home.
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Panic attacks are often accompanied by physical symptoms like a pounding heart, chest pains and shortness of breath. Most people who experience panic attacks for the first time think they’re having a heart attack and often seek treatment in an emergency room, however, the symptoms usually last only 10 minutes.

For most people, the first panic attack usually happens during a stressful time. It usually happens during an accident, a life-threatening sickness, relationship breakups and being separated from family. Also, a woman could have her first panic attack after giving birth.

Aside from stressful events, a panic attack could be caused by a reaction to drugs or to caffeine or nicotine. People who’ve had their first panic attack usually experience successive attacks even when the situation that first caused it is resolved.

Panic attacks can range from mild to severe. They could continue for years, especially when you have agoraphobia. They are inconsistent in that you could on for long periods without experiencing any panic attacks, and you could have intense periods where you experience panic attacks often.

Panic attacks may last your entire life, but the symptoms can be controlled with treatment. People who suffer from panic attacks often have the same traits including lack of sleep, drug or alcohol use, depression, have irrational fears or phobias, have other anxiety disorders, and having trouble relating to other people.

If you’re suffering from panic attacks along with other symptoms, it would help if you sort out your condition with a specialist.

Some people who have social anxiety disorder (SAD) also suffer from panic attacks in social situations. The panic disorder in people with SAD is triggered by specific social situations like giving a speech in front of an audience. Just before giving your speech, you may as feel you’re losing control. Your heart would race and your hands would shake, your mouth becomes dry and you become nauseous.

If you’ve been diagnosed with panic disorder, you should ask your doctors about your treatment options and what the underlying causes of your panic symptoms are.

Most doctors would immediately prescribe medicines, however, knowing that all medicines have their side effects, please ask your doctors what the side effects of your medicine are. If you don’t like to take medicine, it would help to face the underlying cause of your panic attacks – there are psychotherapists out there who help people deal specifically with their panic attacks without using any drugs. There are also online support groups that help panic attack sufferers deal with their problems head on.

What Exactly Happens During A Panic Attack?

Have you ever experienced a panic attack? Perhaps you have thought that you did, but you weren’t quite sure. Many people feel afraid or apprehensive at certain times in their life. This can be the result of something in their immediate surroundings that startles them, or perhaps they are watching a movie when something occurs that causes them to be startled. The feelings associated with these incidents are similar to what is felt during a panic attack, but at a much lower level. In fact, panic attacks can actually bring about such severe feelings of trepidation and dread that many people actually fear for their lives. Even worse, the fear that is experienced may not even be the result of anything real, simply the result of the way that they are processing things in their mind. Let’s look at a few definite symptoms related to having an anxiety or panic attack, and also briefly touch on possible solutions for those that have this detrimental problem.anxiety

Symptoms Of A Panic Attack

Although anxiety attacks can occur at any time, millions of people today experience these psychological disorders for many reasons. It could be the result of a mental imbalance that is caused by hereditary problems that have been passed down through the generations. They could have used an excessive amount of illicit drugs or substances that have caused a permanent chemical and neurological imbalance within their mind. It is also possible that it is related to hormones, life situations, or simply an inordinate amount of stress in their lives. These symptoms may include physical problems such as sweating, shortness of breath, headaches or migraines, severe muscle tension, tremors, heart palpitations, and insomnia. Emotional difficulties may also occur including feeling apprehensive, tents, jumpy, restless, or experiencing extreme irritability. The combination of both physical and emotional problems can often make it very difficult for a person to function in everyday life. As a result of this, they will need to seek medical attention in the form of their family physician or a psychologist.

Treatments For Panic Attacks

Treatments for panic attacks may include psychological intervention, medical treatments, and physical therapy sessions. Psychological intervention may involve talking about problems that you may be experiencing, or the anxiety attacks that you have on a regular basis. Medical treatments will include pharmaceutical and natural remedies that can help bring hormonal and neurological balance. Physical treatments can be used to release intervention, allowing you to not only feel better physically, but to find a way to release tension within your body which may be leading to your anxiety attacks. All of these solutions have helped people all of the world deal with panic disorders and the anxiety attacks that plague their life.

Now that you know what happens during a panic attack, you might want to consider speaking with a professional about this psychological problem. Regardless of the treatment that you receive, you should be able to find some relief from this condition, allowing you to reduce or eliminate these problems from your life once and for all.

Recognizing Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a condition that many people experience. The symptoms consist of a number of common and not so common sensations and problems. Among them are muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, numbness, excessive sweating, tingling in the extremities and more. These types of physical symptoms are sometimes referred to as somatic symptoms. We will use these two terms interchangeably throughout this article. Read on to learn more.

symptomsStiff, sore muscles may be a result of excessive anxiety.

Chronic muscle tension is far more likely to be a sign of anxiety than a sign of excessive exercise. This is especially true of muscle tension in the jaw, neck, shoulders and back. Muscle tension in the jaw is often a result of clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth during sleep. The sufferer may be completely unaware of doing these things, but he or she will definitely feel the results in the muscles of the jaw. This sort of problem may be addressed with stress reduction techniques, muscle relaxation therapy and/or a bite guard to be worn while sleeping to help prevent clenching and grinding and protect the teeth.

Tummy troubles may have little to do with what you eat and everything to do with how you feel.

The digestive system is a major recipient of problems caused by excessive stress, panic and anxiety. Even such mundane problems as diarrhea and constipation may actually be caused by your stress level and level of anxiety. Problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers and nausea can be caused and/or exacerbated by stress and anxiety.

People who are anxious may also experience various affects on the appetite. Stress and anxiety can cause the appetite to increase or decrease. Naturally, changes in appetite affect overall health and may lead to obesity, malnourishment, diabetes, high blood pressure or any number of conditions that are caused by poor diet. As the sufferer’s overall health declines, problems with anxiety are sure to worsen.

Panic Attacks and GAD are not the same thing.

People with GAD experience low to moderate anxiety on a steady, ongoing basis that manifests as physical ailments. People who experience panic attacks, however, experience sudden onset of severe fear, anxiety and panic. While some of the physical symptoms are the same (muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, numbness, excessive sweating, tingling in the extremities, etc.) the manifestation of the conditions differs. GAD is continuous. Panic attacks are intermittent.

Sleep disturbance can cause anxiety, and anxiety can cause sleep disturbance.

People who are anxious have a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. Unfortunately, insomnia is bad news for body, mind and spirit. When a person does not get enough high quality sleep, overall health is compromised and physical illness is more likely. Thought processes are disrupted and poor decisions are likely.

Sleep disturbance can be dealt with by making lifestyle changes that include light to moderate daily exercise, plenty of pure filtered water and a natural, whole foods diet. These changes will also help lower anxiety levels, and this will make life better overall. While it is possible to get a prescription for sleeping pills from a doctor or psychiatrist, it is far better to try natural methods of addressing anxiety and lack of sleep first. It is all too possible to become addicted to sleeping pills, and that is just layering one problem on top of another.

What can be done to get anxiety under control?

In addition to making the lifestyle changes already mentioned, people suffering from GAD may also find it very helpful to practice stress reduction techniques and take up some form of relaxation practice such as meditation or yoga. Alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture and acupressure, massage, hypnosis and more have been shown to have excellent therapeutic effects on people experiencing anxiety. Use of herbs such as kava-kava, valerian, chamomile and others can also be quite effective.

When approaching a course of treatment for generalized anxiety, the first stop should be the doctor’s office. A thorough physical exam will rule out any organic problems that may be causing anxiety. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, prescribe medication and/or provide a referral for counseling, alternative therapies or other options. It is important to understand that anxiety can be brought under control with consistent, intelligent effort. A step by step approach is the key to becoming anxiety free.