Panic Attacks

A Look at Panic Attacks

Even in this modern age, there is still a stigma attached to nervous disorders. If someone is having a panic attack, someone else is likely to believe that person just wants to get attention. While a panic attack is not a well-known medical diagnosis, it is definitely serious. Panic attacks as a disorder have both mental and physical symptoms. If left untreated, these can become debilitating. Patients having panic attacks should be examined by a physician and get treatment to gain control over the disorder.

Classified as an actual disorder, panic attacks are recognized as “generalized anxiety disorder” by the federal government’s mental health department (NIMH). Other disorders in the anxiety category include post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, and social phobias. It is estimated that over 20 million Americans suffer with at least one form of anxiety problem great enough to be considered a disorder.

A panic attack is characterized by having an intense feeling of generalized, irrational and unfocused fear while experiencing a racing heart beat that occurs spontaneously and lasts for a  period of time (up to fifteen to twenty minutes). Chest pains, shortness of breath, tremors and excessive perspiration, nausea , a choking sensation, headaches, and hot flashes or chills are other symptoms of a panic attack. The person affected may have some or all of these symptoms and be fearful of going insane or having a heart attack. Panic attacks will occur without warning and become an interruption in lifestyle, so anyone who has experienced more than one should seek medical help.

Everyone will experience some form of extreme stress or tension in their lives, This is not considered a panic disorder. Having been frightened by experiencing several panic attacks and beginning to live in fear of having others, worrying constantly, and making changes in lifestyle because of these attacks is symptomatic of the disorder.

Having experienced even one panic attack, you should see a doctor. Make notes about the symptoms you displayed, the place and time of the attack, how long it lasted and what you were doing when the attack begin. This detail will help your doctor in making the right diagnosis and finding the most effective treatments. Panic attacks may occur while you are suffering from some other anxiety-related disorder, so the more information you can provide for your medical treatment the better the treatment plan will help.

Panic attacks are indeed real. A person experiencing one needs to be assisted to a quiet place until it passes, then taken to medical help. This is a treatable condition once the patient understands what is happening to him or her.

 

Jeff

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