Those Awful Panic Attacks!

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Anyone having panic attacks will have sudden feelings of terror that will strike without any warning. Any time, anywhere and even during sleep, they can crop up. Those who are plagued with panic attacks may actually feel as if they are having a heart attack, dying or going completely crazy. This may be completely unrelated to what is actually happening around them and is not proportionate to the true situation. Several symptoms people experience when having an attack might be the following.

Some Symptoms Of Panic Attacks

▪ A “Racing” heart
▪ Feeling weak, faint or dizzy
▪ Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
▪ A sense of terror or impending doom or death
▪ Feeling sweaty or having chills
▪ Having breathing difficulties
▪ Have a feeling of loss of control

Usually these attacks are brief, lasting less than 10 minutes, but some of the symptoms might persist for a longer time. Those having one panic attack are at greater risk for having subsequent attacks, than those who have never even experienced one. These attacks can occur repeatedly and always leaves them with a worry about more episodes. Those with these frequent occurrences, are considered to have a condition known as panic disorder.

Having panic disorder may leave the person extremely anxious and fearful because they are not able to predict when that next episode might occur. This disorder is fairly common and actually affects about 6 million adults in the US. Not surprisingly, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition and the symptoms usually begin in early adulthood.

The Cause Of Panic Attacks

The cause for panic disorder is not clear. Sometimes those who have the biological vulnerability to panic attacks might have had them develop in association with major life changes such as getting married, having a child, starting a first job, and other major lifestyle stressors. The tendency to develop panic disorders may run in families, according to some evidence. Those suffering from panic disorder are more likely than others to also suffer from depression, attempt suicide or to abuse alcohol or drugs.

It is very fortunate that panic disorder is a treatable condition. Both medication and psychotherapy have been used (singly or together) for successful treatment. Your doctor must prescribe medications, as anti-anxiety or antidepressants. Even some anticonvulsant drugs that have anti-anxiety properties or a class of heart medications can help. If you experience the symptoms listed above, especially frequently, be sure to consult your health care provider. Also, think about seeing your natural healthcare provider for more natural remedies. It may be nothing, or it might be something else that needs treating. It’s up to you to keep healthy.

-Dr Fredda Branyon

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