Have you ever experienced a sudden change of pace in your heart?
Your face may become flushed and a loss of breath may occur. Dizziness follows and you might have the urge to vomit on the spot. Your life feels like it is racing out of control. For some, a feeling that conjures up thoughts of impending death may arise.
Little do you know that these are all signs associated with a panic attack, which can occur at anytime in your life, regardless of who you are or where you happen to be at the time. You are overtaken by a strong sense of fear with your entire body reacting to this scary process.
Symptoms and Signs
The symptoms of a panic attack are so overwhelming that some feel they are having a heart attack. It is a condition that mostly occurs in females, but is also fairly common among males.
When individuals experience numerous panic attacks, they will most likely be diagnosed as having a condition that is called panic disorder. It is a treatable condition marked by a series of signs and symptoms.
Although there are variations in symptoms of a panic attack, there are a few basic characteristics that often last about ½ hour after the sudden emergence of attack symptoms.
A person may experience an increase in heart rate, sweats, chills, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, faintness, tightness in the throat, hot flashes, hyperventilation and trouble swallowing. A headache is also a common sign of a panic attack.
Causes of a Panic Attack
There are numerous factors that may contribute to the onset of a panic attack, but a clearly defined, concrete list of do’s or don’ts has yet to be compiled. Doctors know that stress, heredity and other biochemical variables have something to do with panic attacks.
For instance, if your mother has a history of suffering many panic attacks throughout her life, it is not uncommon for her children to possibly experience the same.
A panic attack may also develop when one is suffering from depression and other mental disorders, such as an intense fear of something or someone. For example, if you are afraid of planes and you are forced to ride on one, you may experience a panic attack.
Those suffering from panic attacks may also suffer from extreme anti-social feelings. When panic attacks evolve into a persistent event or they cause one to lead their life differently, this is when assistance from a physician is needed.
When one finally seeks help for their panic attack problem, they will find that the treatment for this disorder is rather effective. Numerous medications are used in treating this condition. They may include a variety of antidepressants, including Zoloft, which is a type of Sertraline. Paroxetine, such as Paxil and a fluoxetine like Prozac or Sarafem are also used.
A benzodiazepine-type of medication may also be prescribed, which includes brand names like Xanax. Sometimes, a patient will undergo various sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist, which may treat the root of their problem.
They might discover new ways of dealing with their panic attacks, often eliminating the need to use chemical medication for treatment.
In addition to using the assistance of your doctor and other healthcare professionals, you will also find various approaches in self-care to consider. This may include incorporating meditation, muscle relaxation and controlled breathing into your daily routine.