Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks can begin suddenly, at any time and without any warning. For anyone who has experienced it, it is a terrifying incident as some people might have the feeling that they cannot breathe and that they are having a heart attack. While the symptoms usually last for about 10 to 30 minutes, people often have an intense fear that it will happen again.
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However, if you are experiencing those symptoms, rest assured that you are not alone. Panic attack and Anxiety attack affect more than 20% of the adult population in the United States, which amounts to close to 60 million people.
If the symptoms mentioned in this article are preventing you from accomplishing certain things or simply to be happy, it is necessary to take action, to find solutions and to take back control of your life.
The good news is that once you have identified and recognized the problems, which you have by coming on this site, it is much easier to prevent future incident and to find ways to cope with the situation.
What are Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks
Panic attacks and Anxiety attacks are different from the normal stress or anxiety reactions that everybody encounters in their life. It is a serious condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the attacks from happening again. Panic disorder can have a serious impact on a person’s daily life unless the individual receives effective treatment.
They are caused by a number of biological changes that occur during times of stress and anxiety. The body is very resilient and you may not feel any effects of the stress and anxiety, but over a long period of time, emotional or physical symptoms might appear.
Some anxiety or panic attacks can also occur at night while you are sleeping, they are called nocturnal panic attacks. They occur less often than panic attacks during daytime but can be scary because they tend to have more respiratory distress associated with their panic.
The Causes of Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks
Although there is no one specific cause for panic attacks, like most other emotional symptoms, panic is understood to be the result of a combination of biological vulnerabilities, ways of thinking, and social stressors.
The exact causes of what triggers a panic or anxiety attack are not yet fully understood. However, studies have shown that certain persons are more susceptible to be affected based on a combination of factors such as family history (if it runs in the family), major life stress (stressful events, transitions, death of a closed one), performance anxiety, nutritional deficiencies (like Zinc or Magnesium), abnormalities in the brain or substance abuse.
Studies have also shown that panic attacks may be a learned response that can be initiated in otherwise healthy people simply given the right set of circumstances. Often, the first attacks are triggered by physical illnesses, another major life stress, or perhaps medications that increase activity in the part of the brain involved in fear reactions.
Psychologically, people who develop panic attacks or an anxiety disorder are more likely to have a history of what is known as anxiety sensitivity. Anxiety sensitivity is the tendency for a person to fear that anxiety-related bodily sensations will surface and affect them.
Symptoms of Panic or Anxiety Attacks
There are many symptoms experienced from Panic or Anxiety Attacks and they can vary from one person to another. Although you might feel certain of the following symptoms on a regular basis, panic attacks will usually last about 10 minutes and the symptoms will be stronger during that period.
The symptoms can be divided in either emotional symptoms or physical symptoms:
Emotional Physical Extreme irritation Rapid heart beat, pounding heart or palpitations Excessive fear and worry Sweating Feeling of apprehension Stomach upset Trouble concentrating Dizziness Feeling tense and nervous Frequent urination or diarrhea Anticipation of the worst Shortness of breath Restlessness Twitches Depersonalization (Feel like you are in a dream) Muscle tension Fear of losing control or going crazy Headaches Intense feeling of terror Fatigue A fear that you are losing control or are about to die Insomnia Tunnel vision Trembling or shaking Confusion Choking sensation Blank mind Chest pain or discomfort Inappropriate/Disturbed thoughts Nausea or indigestion Feeling cold or hot Trouble swallowing
These symptoms are often misdiagnosed by the people themselves as they are looking for a medical illness. When the symptoms occur, it is common for people to think they are having a heart attack.
Now, I have never had a heart attack so it is impossible to compare, but when the panic attacks occur, it can be as if you were suffocating and the world was coming to an end. If you have experienced panic attack or anxiety attack and that you want to take back control of your life, it is imperative that you act now and that you find the information that will help you to identify the problem and feel better.