Panic Attack Symptoms, Treatments, Information
Are you having a Panic attack? How to identify the signs and symptoms and how to manage panic attacks
It can happen to anyone at any time: in the office, shopping center, while driving, or even while one sleeps at night. Suddenly, without any warning, an individual may feel frightened and extremely overwhelmed. All at once it feels as if the world is closing in around them and their anxiety levels rapidly rise. The overwhelming and intense fear and anxiety that the individual feels is seemingly neither justified, nor related to, the present situation. For individuals who have experienced a panic attack the experience can be extremely overwhelming and scary. The symptoms of a panic attack closely resemble those of a heart attack, but disappear usually within half an hour. When an individual experiences a panic attack for the first time they will most likely feel extremely scared and overwhelmed by the experience. It can be extremely scary to feel as if one has lost control of their emotions and anxiety levels.
What Ca You DO?
Have you or someone you know ever been impacted by this type of an experience? If so, the person affected will never forget the sensations and will most likely want some additional information regarding their panic filled experience. Information and supports are highly valuable so that individuals are better prepared if they ever face it again in the future. If an individual has not experienced a panic attack themselves then it is still extremely valuable to gain a greater understanding of how panic attacks and panic disorders arise and affect individuals. Everyone should learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of panic attacks and should take active measures to avoid this anxiety filled experience. Even if you do not believe that you are at risk of developing a panic attack, chances are that someone you know or love may experience one sometime during their lifetime. Everyone can benefit from gaining a greater understanding of panic attacks.
People who suffer sudden panic attack may experience the following symptoms:
- Acceleration of heartbeat
- Sweating or chills
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and stomach pain
- Chest pain
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling out of control
The panic attack, though overwhelmingly intense and frightening, is a brief panic filled episode that usually lasts approximately 10 minutes. The duration, exact symptoms, and intensity of the panic attack will vary from person to person. In some cases, it may take up to half an hour for the symptoms to disappear completely.
The experience of a panic attack is viewed as being a manifestation of anxiety that may occur in relation to various other events, experiences, situations, and relationships that cause stress in the individual’s life. For example, an individual experiencing a panic attack may be overwhelmed and stressed by family relationships or work. Even though the panic attack may appear to happen during a completely unrelated situation to the major stressor in one’s life the two experiences are strongly linked. If the panic attack happens only once then it is simply an uncomfortable and unsettling experience. If the panic attacks recur frequently then it is identified as a condition known as panic disorder. This condition can be completely paralyzing if the person, in addition to suffering from the panic attacks, begins to fear repeat panic attacks in the future. This experience of repeated panic attacks and the fear of potential upcoming panic attacks creates a vicious cycle which leads to increasingly intensified symptoms.
Panic disorder is characterized by the following:
- Avoidance of the places and situations where the person experienced panic attacks in the past, which leads to a major disruption in their functioning. Examples of this could be avoiding a store, an elevator, or a car where a previous panic attack took place.
- Beginning to feel that everything is out of control
- Feeling great concern that another attack is about to come
- Experience of increased levels of anxiety and stress
- Repeated panic attacks over at least a six month period
These symptoms can quickly spiral out of control and should be treated with medical supports. Fortunately, a panic disorder is a condition that can be treated effectively with medication and psychotherapy, or a combination of both. If necessary and deemed appropriate, an anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed. Antidepressants and heart medications, known as beta blockers, have been shown to help individuals manage episodes of panic disorder.
If you experience a panic attack, even if you only experience it once, it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor. You should receive a complete medical examination that will rule out the presence of any other disease or physical problem. If you find that the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks continues to increase it is strongly recommended that you continue to consult a doctor to evaluate your symptoms and condition. Individuals with a panic disorder are more prone to depression, suicide attempts, and the abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. If not treated panic attacks may recur for months or even years, wreaking havoc on one’s emotional state.
Possible Treatment for Panic Attacks:
Panic attack sufferers do not have to be held captive by worry because there are many effective treatment options for this condition. Panic attacks can be treated with medication and through psychotherapy. These treatments can be used either on their own or together depending on the degree of severity of the condition and the type of treatment that is determined to be most appropriate.
- Panic Attack Medication
MedicationFor Panic Attacks:
The most common medication treatment for panic attacks is antidepressants. These medications have the power to inhibit the development of panic attacks through altering one or more of the brain’s chemical levels in the body. Typically, levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are targeted. The type of antidepressant drug usually used for the treatment of panic attacks are SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. This type of medication is commonly viewed as being a last resort treatment method and is generally only used when all other resources have been exhausted. It is a very potent and effective drug. However, it needs to be used under strict medical supervision and close diet monitoring because it has the possibility to interact with some foods, drinks, and other synthetic drugs that the patient may be consuming. SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Another commonly prescribed drug is benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety drugs. Like the SSRIs, these medications should be taken with strict guidance from a physician and should only be used sparingly because they can be very addictive. The duration of medication use will depend on the individual patient’s need. Sometimes a medication may only be needed for a week and in other cases an individual may find they need to stay on medications for years or even throughout the rest of their life. Psychotherapy For Panic Attack:psichlogy And Anxiety
Physiotherapy For Panic Attacks:
Psychotherapy is generally viewed as still being the best form of treatment for panic attacks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating panic attacks. This particular kind of therapy focuses on the importance of individual behavior and the thought processes of an individual. Through this therapy individuals can gain greater insight into their symptoms. Additionally, individuals can be equipped to manage and prevent their symptoms in the future.