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Panic Attack

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Posted by on Friday, February 25, 2011, 4:27
This news item was posted in Brain, Mental health, P category and has 0 Comments so far.

Panic while entering the exam hall. Panic while walking on a deserted road. Panic thinking you’re lost in an unknown neighborhood. We know what panic feels like. A panic attack is experienced on the same terms but is far, far more intense. There are several symptoms of panic attack which help us to know that a person is experiencing severe panic attacks. But before getting into that, let us understand what panic attacks are. In the article that follows, we shall be getting into more detail about panic attacks, what they mean, certain panic attack symptoms and treatment.

What are Panic Attacks?

As said earlier, we all know what the feelings of panic are and that they are brought on as a response to a particular tense situation or the like. A panic ‘attack’, however, happens quite suddenly, without any warning or signal. And it leaves a person feeling completely terrorized. What sets a panic attack aside is the fact that the reactions of blood curdling fear that are evoked in a person, might not be in response to a particular stimulus. The fear is not necessarily a reaction to something. In that way the attacks may be brought on without any warning and can even occur at night. The person who is suffering a panic attack might experience such an intense fear that he might feel like he might die. Some might even mistake the sensations brought on by a panic attack with those of a heart attack.

Panic attacks can last anywhere from 10 minutes to about 30 minutes. The person who has panic attacks might develop overall anxiety because he/she isn’t sure about when the next attack will strike. If a person has had more than 4 panic attacks then they are said to be suffering from panic attack disorder which is a type of chronic anxiety disorder. Panic attacks are usually brought on after major life changing events in a person’s life and could also lead to other psychological and behavioral problems like depression. There can also be a genetic factor in this where if there has been a family history of recurrent panic attacks, then a person might be prone to them too. Once a person suffers an attack, it furthers the risk of suffering more.

Symptoms of Panic Attack

In order to fully understand what a panic attack feels like we need to understand what some of the panic attack symptoms in men and women are. Here are the common symptoms:

* Pounding heart
* Shortness of breath
* Dizziness
* Flushed skin
* Intense or mild sweating
* Increase in heart rate
* Hot flashes
* Foreboding feeling of death or similar
* Intense shaking and trembling
* Hyperventilation
* Pain in chest region and ribs
* Migraines or headaches
* Cramping in abdominal region
* Fainting sensation
* Feeling of tightness in throat
* Difficulty in swallowing
* Strained breath
* Overall weakness
* Tingling sensation in the hands and fingers
* Numbness in hands and legs
* Feeling complete loss of control
* Chest discomfort
* Nausea
* Feeling lightheaded
* Urgency to use the bathroom
* Muscle strain and pain
* Neck and shoulder pain
* Ears turning hot and/or lips turning cold
* Flushing and blotching of skin
* Loss of skin color
* Experiencing disturbing thoughts
* Feeling unsteady and unlike oneself
* Paralyzing terror
* An intense need to escape
* Experiencing perceptual distortions
* Experiencing the feeling that you’re not yourself or are going about in a dream like state

These panic attack symptoms in women and men are manifested in similar ways, as are they in adolescents. But when it comes to panic attack symptoms in children, even though most of the symptoms are experienced in the same way, the major difference is that the symptoms tend to be more physical than cognitive in them. Children will not experience symptoms of panic attack that have them feeling like they are having an out of body experience or are in a dream like state.

Panic Attack Treatment

Panic attack treatment becomes necessary so that a person does not remain a victim of the same. Here are some ways on how to cure panic attacks which you can use to treat an oncoming panic attack:

* Breathe in and out very, very slowly as part of breathing exercises. This will lend to more oxygen and will help in blocking every other thought.
* Try some relaxation techniques for panic attacks or even certain meditation techniques for the same.
* Drink plenty of water.
* Cut out all products that contain caffeine. These are known to intensify the attack.
* Cut out on all foods that spike insulin in your body.
* Exercise for at least 40 minutes a day. This will help relieve stress.
* Visit a behavioral therapist if you need help coming to terms with your fears. The usage of psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy is known to be a good anxiety cure.

Panic attacks can come about at any time and therefore it is important to be prepared for them. And with the symptoms of panic attack and the treatment provided for in this article, it should help you in better understanding the situation. If the problem persists, make sure to visit your doctor.

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