Friday, August 12, 2011

What is Panic Attack?

The best way to answer the question "What is panic attack?" is to examine how a panic attack feels. Even if you aren't sure you suffer from panic attacks, you know what they feel like. Why?

Have you ever been in a dangerous situation? Perhaps you had to walk alone across a dark parking lot late at night, and realized that there were footsteps behind you. Perhaps you were driving on a lonely stretch of road, only to have the car behind you speed up, pass you, and suddenly slow to a crawl as if the driver intended to stop and block your way. Whatever the circumstances, you almost certainly experienced shortness of breath, tingling in your upper body, nausea or a clenching of your stomach, and a racing heartbeat.

Those were all normal physiological reactions, because your body’s sympathetic nervous system, or SNS, has a "freeze, flight, or fight" response to danger. That response enables you to switch into high gear so that you can hide from, escape, or attack a threat. Your SNS pumps out adrenaline. Your heart rate speeds up as the blood rushes to your legs (you might feel lightheaded) so that you can run as fast as possible, and your breathing increases to supply extra oxygen to your heart and muscles.

Your body calls on all its resources to survive, and luckily for the human race, the system has worked wonderfully for millions of years! When things go normally, the threat will pass, and you'll stop producing the adrenaline which enabled your body to get through the crisis. This happens when your parasympathetic nervous system, or PNS, kicks in and calms you down.

They suffer from the same racing heart, nausea, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath which are appropriate responses to danger, but have no way to let their bodies know that the response is unwarranted. They simply have to wait until their parasympathetic nervous systems kick in and calm things down.

One of the most devastating consequences of panic attacks is that, once someone begins to suffer from them, he or she may develop such a fear of losing control that agoraphobia results. Agoraphobia is a fear of places outside the home, and people afflicted with it simply cannot function in public places. They feel hemmed in, have difficulty getting enough air, and are often convinced that they are about to faint. Panic attacks with agoraphobia are the most crippling of all.

Panic attacks would be far less devastating if there were a way to avoid the situations which trigger them. But the great majority of panic attacks happen spontaneously, and someone who experiences one panic attack in a certain place may never experience another one there, if he or she can summon the courage to revisit it!

As strange as it may seem, there are people who actually awakened in the middle of the night suffering from panic attacks, feeling suffocated, their hearts pounding and their extremities tingling or numb. Because of the similarity of their symptoms, these people are often convinced they are having heart attacks. The only good thing about a nocturnal panic attack is that it will usually end within ten or twenty minutes. By the age of 60, most people stop experiencing them.

While a majority of people suffer one panic attack never have another one, many unfortunate individuals develop a pattern of panic attacks becomes known as panic disorder. They are the ones most likely to alter their lifestyles in order to prevent the world from learning of their difficulty. If you have started changing the way you want to live your life because you fear a panic attack, there is help available.

Speak to a doctor about getting the test you need to ensure that your panic attacks are not the result of a medical condition. Once that’s established, your panic attack disorder can be treated both with medication and with therapy.

Panic attacks are considered a syndrome of panic disorder

Exactly What Is A Panic Attack?

A panic attack happens when your body suddenly gets overwhelmed with feelings such as fear, panic, and stress. Usually, it is impossible to predict panic attacks since they often come out of nowhere. This type of anxiety disorder is one of the worst because it has such bad side effects.

As many as 3 million adults in the United States have dealt with panic attacks. Unfortunately, many people do not know that a panic attack is happening and are afraid that they are going into cardiac arrest or dying.

If people are not aware of the fact they are having panic attacks, they won't normally get treated for them. This lack of knowledge is detrimental since these attacks do not stop on their own.

Panic attacks can cause a multitude of problems, and tend to get progressively worse if not treated. While symptoms vary with each person, some of the most common components of a panic attack include: Sudden onset of unexpected fear and panic, cold sweat, heart palpitations, inability to breathe, dizziness, feeling faint, and physical discomfort or pain.

Because having a panic attack is such a horrible experience, a lot of people are terrified to have another and this fear launches even more panic attacks. To stop the cycle of panic attacks, proper treatment must be undertaken right away.

While some patients are given prescription medication to help control their panic attacks, the medications in this group have some very unpleasant side effects of their own, including constant drowsiness, total disorientation, and exhaustion. It is often said that with these medications, the cure is nearly as bad as the disease! Fortunately, there is effective help available for panic attacks that can even eliminate them completely.

Ideally, panic attacks should be handled by utilizing a program that gets inside the brain, where panic attacks originate. Programs such as Panic Away use a psychologically sound technique to help the brain to understand how to deal with and completely eliminate panic attacks. Some of the program tips are so simple that they can be used immediately with success.

It is not realistic to expect panic attacks to resolve themselves. It will take some action in order to achieve a real cure, but it is quite possible to do so with some of the programs available today.


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