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Panic Disorders

Written by: Editorial Staff.

Someone who has suffered from a random or specifically triggered episode of intense fear or anxiety may be experiencing what’s known as a panic attack. These occurrences are usually a direct result of an untreated panic disorder. An individual suffering from a panic disorder may experience episodes frequently. These attacks can last a few minutes or up to a few hours, depending on the severity of the individual’s disorder. Panic disorders are not uncommon. Over a million people in the United States suffer from panic disorders. Treatment options and medications are available to anyone who suffers from panic disorders. Doctors, therapists and other professionals in the field have formulated a number of different methods which can lower the frequency of these attacks and in some cases prevent them from ever occurring.

Causes of Panic Attacks

Anxiety and panic attacks can be triggered by a number of different factors. Stressful situations are often a trigger for people who suffer from a panic disorder. A deadline for a project in college or making a change in your career could bring on an attack. Certain prescribed medications can also be attributed to anxiety attacks in specific situations.

There are different ways panic attacks may arise. Unexpected attacks occur randomly. A panic attack that may be expected would come in an impending situation that may cause fear. Public speaking is often a trigger for some individuals who suffer from a disorder. Arguments have been made that anxiety and panic disorder may be genetic. While genetics may play a role in someone with a chronic panic disorder, it has not yet been proven that such an issue arises from genetics alone.

Panic Attack Symptoms

Some people experience similar feelings to that of an anxiety attack, but may not know for sure if they suffer from a disorder. It can be difficult to pin-point exactly what is going on, but knowing some of the common symptoms may help you to further your understanding.

Panic Attack Symptoms Include:

  • Feeling faint
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling like you’re going to die
  • Loss of control

The most prevalent symptom of an anxiety attack is experiencing shortness of breath. An individual suffering from this disorder will also have the reoccurring feeling of being light headed or faint. These attacks may make individuals feel hopeless. This is a common disorder and there is treatment available.

Another common symptom is an increased heart rate. The heart may begin to pound rapidly, some can mistake this for a heart attack but it’s most commonly a symptom of an anxiety attack. Those who suffer from extreme cases may feel as though they are going to die when they are having an episode. The individual may feel desperate and hopeless in the moment.

Panic Disorder Treatment

There are a number of different treatments and medications for panic disorders that can help prevent and eliminate these situations from someone’s life. Therapy and medication are the two most prevalent treatments for those who suffer with panic disorders. It is important to see a mental health professional when trying to help quell your issues with panic disorders. It has been noted that substance abuse can worsen the symptoms of panic disorders. There are many resources for helping those who suffer with this problem.