Panic Attacks

Feeling a little nervous from time to time is normal for most of us. However, if a person reaches the point of losing control and being unable to function well in daily work, we might suspect that he/she suffers from panic attacks. This disease is known as Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder in which an individual has sudden feelings of terror for no apparent reason. The person may have physical symptoms such as tachycardia (significantly elevated heart rate), chest pain, difficulty breathing, and / or dizziness. Sometimes the person may think he/she will have a heart attack and/or will lose all reason.

In some cases, panic attacks can occur in specific situations, but in others, they may occur without warning at any time or place. For some individuals, the fear can be so intense that they may fear to leave the house. Usually a panic attack does not last long, but they are so distressing and intense that they seem to last an eternity. The exact cause of panic attacks is unknown, but it is believed that genetics may play a role.
There is no doubt that panic attacks can affect a person’s behavior in the home, workplace, or wherever he/she may be. People who suffer from this disorder often feel concern over the impact that these attacks are having on their lives.

If you suffer from episodes of extreme anxiety, there are certain signs that may help you identify if you or someone you know may be experiencing panic attacks. Try to answer the following questions.

• Do you experience chest pains and an elevated heart rate?
• Do you find it hard to breathe or feel that you are drowning?
• Do you feel lightheaded or dizzy?
• Do you sweat a lot, especially on your hands?
• Do you have stomach problems like nausea/vomiting?
• Do you suffer from tremors, chills, or tingling?
• Do you feel out of control?
• Do you feel that what you are experiencing is not real?
• Do you feel as if you may be dying or losing your mind?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, you may be experiencing panic attacks. However, it is essential to differentiate between a panic attack and symptoms of physical illness, such as heart problems. Many times the symptoms are very similar and can be confused by the person who is experiencing them. A medical evaluation is critical to rule out any physical causes of the symptoms listed above, or others.

Unfortunately, people often do not seek help or medical care for panic attacks because of embarrassment or reluctance to consider taking medication. It is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms to determine what is happening or to even start treatment if necessary. There are several medications that can reduce the intensity of panic attacks and can sometimes help stop them altogether.

There are also several counseling treatments to help treat panic attacks, and many can be very effective. Sometimes counseling does not work as fast as medicine, but it can be just as effective. Counseling support combined with medication has helped many individuals live healthier lives.

If you sense that you may be suffering from panic attacks, seek consultation from a mental health therapist in your community. Make sure to visit your physician to rule out physical causes of your symptoms as well. These steps can help you regain control of your life.

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