Panic Attacks

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Disclaimer

As always, seek professional advice before using any of the methods listed.

What are they

Panic attacks are common disorders in the United States. Studies show that panic attacks affect about one-third of American adults every year. Worldwide, panic attacks affect approximately one out of every 75 people.

An official definition for panic attacks is as follows: Panic attacks are sudden and repeated surges of intense and overwhelming fear.

Symptoms

Panic attacks are often accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, or abdominal pain. Other physical symptoms associated with panic attacks include:

  • chills or hot flashes
  • nausea
  • a feeling of choking
  • sweating
  • tingling and numbness in the hands
  • shaking
  • a rapid heart rate

Causes of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can cause a feeling of desperation in those that experience them. Often those who have panic attacks feel as though they are going crazy or even dying during the attack. Doctors say this isn't unusual. Many of the physical symptoms experienced during panic attacks are the same or similar to symptoms of more serious diseases of the heart, lungs, intestines and nervous system.

Those who suffer panic attacks often go through repeated hospital or doctor visits before a correct diagnosis is made. A few even experience panic attacks for years before discovering that what they're experiencing is a real, treatable disease.

A person's chance of developing panic attacks is heredity. This means that someone's susceptibility to panic attacks is inherited. But even though the chance of experiencing panic attacks is beyond anyone's control, there are a few other serious conditions that can accompany panic attacks. These include depression, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse.

Panic attacks can also cause a person to be so afraid of different situations, that he or she will avoid places and situations where the panic attacks occurred. They might think that a certain situation or experience caused the panic attacks when in reality the panic attacks just happened to occur in a certain location or situation.

This fear of anything that might cause panic attacks can be very disabling. Those who experience panic attacks often will do everything in their power to prevent any panic attacks. This means that many people will restrict their lives to such an extent that they can't or won't do everyday activities like shopping or driving. Or they might only do such activities with a trusted friend or family member.

Treatment

Panic attacks are easily treatable with medication and therapy. Medical treatment for panic attacks involves digesting anti-anxiety drugs like Valium, Atavan or Xanax daily. These drugs belong to a class called benzodiazepines that are known for their sedative and muscle relaxant properties. They're very effective in treating panic attacks, but if used for a long time, patients can develop a tolerance to them or become dependent on them.

Therapy treatment for panic attacks includes a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy. Cognitive behavior therapy for treatment of panic attacks involves recognizing unhelpful patterns of thinking and reacting and replacing them with more helpful and realistic thoughts.

There is also plenty of Alternative Medicine's that can treat panic attacks, including dark chocolate (in moderation and ensure there's no milk product in that chocolate), exercise (this can increase ones endorphins) cabbage, plenty of bottled water, there's also many Chinese Herbs as well as Acupuncture that can also assist those who suffer from panic attacks, and many would recommend Marijuana.