Panic attacks are sudden feelings of intense fear or terror. They may strike the victims without warning. Such attacks can occur any time of day or night. They might occur even during sleep.
A person may think he or she is having a heart attack. The symptoms are very similar to heart attack. The victim may even think that he or she is going to die. Such is the intensity of panic attacks.
A few symptoms of panic attack are:
- racing heart,
- numbness in hands and fingers,
- difficulty in breathing,
- rapid, shallow breathing,
- severe pain in chest,
- nervousness and shaking,
- intense fear or anxiety,
- worried that something terrible is going to happen
Duration of panic attacks may vary for people. It usually reaches peak intensity within a couple of minutes. Then it may slowly start diminishing. It may last from 20 minutes to even hours.
Even after the attack subsides, its effects remain. You may be constantly worried about another attack. It only resembles heart attack but is different. To be on safe side, get your heart condition checked. If doctor confirms that your heart is in good condition, you can rest assured that it was probably a panic attack.
Why Panic Attacks Happen?
There may be several causes behind this disorder. Family history is one of the causes. If parents suffer from it, children might inherit it.
Another reason could be abnormalities in the brain. Drugs and alcohol might also be responsible. In some cases, stress may play a part. It may occur due to too much stress or major grief in life.
The good thing is panic attacks rarely cause real harm. They may look threatening, but don't do much damage. Hardly anyone is known to die from it.
Another good thing is that people have been cured. There are several stories of people recovering from it. You don't have to put up with it all your life.
Panic Attacks Treatment
Now the question arises - whom to approach for help. Panic attacks may usually treated by psychiatrists. Treatment may involve taking medicines along with behavior therapy. Behavior therapy is considered very effective in treating this disorder.
It involves changing overt behavior through various techniques. Some of the popular techniques are systemic desensitization, relaxation training etc.
However, you have to be careful about medicines. Taking medication for panic attacks is not a good idea. Medicines can cause serious side effects. It is best to avoid them until absolutely necessary.
Best to take medication only in severe cases. That too with doctor prescription, not on your own. Its great if you can manage without medication.
Other alternative treatments include aromatherapy and using herbs. Some people even try hypnotherapy. So, many forms of treatments are available. You can opt for something which is most comfortable or convenient.
Likewise, many program exist in the market. Most of these programs are developed by ex-sufferers. A very popular program is called - "Panic Away". You can check it out by clicking here.
This article discusses in further detail which methods are effective - Panic Attacks Treatment
In this article we covered many things. We discussed the main symptoms of panic attacks. We also touched upon the reasons they occur. It should now be clear why panic attacks happen.
Knowing panic attacks symptoms and causes is the first step. Then we talked about various treatment options. Finally, I pointed out a popular program to check out (called Panic Away).
Hope this article was useful in gaining a deeper understanding of panic disorder problem.
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