A person visits the doctor if he/she is suffering from any illness. However, in case of any mental illness or condition, one either is not aware or ignores it. Many patients also opt for self-treatment measures which are not advisable.
Panic disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses observed in most of the people. The patient suffers from panic attacks in such cases. These attacks are a sudden surge of fear and anxiety. Know about it and take necessary steps if and when it happens.
Symptoms of a Panic Disorder
It is difficult to recognize any mental illness, especially a panic disorder as most of the symptoms of a panic attack are similar to that of a heart attack. However, there are a few symptoms, which help people identify and differentiate between panic attack and heart attack. Some of these are listed below
Causes of having panic attacks
It is almost impossible to identify the exact reason behind the panic attack as various incidents cause the condition. A genetic tendency is one of the major reasons behind the panic attacks. Stress is another primary reason behind these attacks and is common for those people who have recently joined college, a new workplace or are newly married. A panic attack can also be due to other physical or medical conditions.
How to deal with Panic Attacks?
The best way to deal with panic attacks is to consult a professional, who will advise or help the patient handle the situations. If the doctor is not available, then it is suggested to follow a few measures that might help one deal with the condition.
A few measures to follow-
Panic disorder is a serious issue, which if not handled properly might lead to severe problems. Hence, it is advised to seek the advice of a professional at the early stage.
Living with anxiety on a daily basis can be really stressful. And while you are dealing with anxiety it is very important not to sway away with the symptoms and commit yourself to a treatment. For instant release of anxiety you really don't need to go for a vacation or to the spa or a weekend retreat. It is easy to beat anxiety within 5-15 minutes while you are at your home.
So don't think and instantly reduce your anxiety to give yourself a wonderful day.
Here are 5 tips to instantly reduce your anxiety :
Meditation for a few minutes daily helps relieve anxiety. As per a research, doing meditation daily changes the neural pathways of the brain thereby making it more flexible towards stress. Meditation is the simplest way to beat anxiety. All you have to do is just sit straight with feet on the floor and closed eyes. Next just focus your energy on reciting a mantra.
2. Deep Breathing
A 5 minute breathing regime is a sure shot way to relieve anxiety. Sit straight with closed eyes and place your hands on your abdomen. First start with slow inhalation of air through the nose. Feel the breath through your abdomen and head and then reverse the process by exhaling it out through the mouth. Psychologists state that deep breathing helps to bring down stress and anxiety by lowering the blood pressure.
3. Laugh Aloud
A good laugh is a nice way to shed off the stress and anxiety. When you laugh, chemical endorphins are released which elevate your mood. A good laugh also lowers the cortisol levels which are the stress hormones.
4. Talk to someone
Distracting yourself by talking to friends and family helps. The mind starts wandering when in anxiety and alone and the effective technique to talk to some trusted person helps. The support you get from family and friends just boosts you back and wards you off from the symptoms. In case of a panic attack, you can request the company of a friend and relative to watch over you.
5. Trick your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety does not happen suddenly but is due to the mind's tendency to have negative thoughts spiraling day in and day out, and the worse is that you have no control over the thoughts. Learn to tame these thoughts and the triggers which cause these to keep anxiety at bay.
There are strategies which you can try to help you keep anxious thoughts away. They are as below :
a. Question yourself when you experience anxiety. A long checklist helps you make your thoughts more realistic.
b. Give affirmations to yourself that everything is okay, you will get over the situation. Usually affirmations are made to comfort one.
c. Know the physical symptoms , as many times, physical sensations like in case of a panic attack tend to trigger anxiety and stress. When you get used to the symptoms, the mind does not send signals for anxiety to the brain. Create exercise to habituate yourself to a panic attack.
There is no cure for anxiety but the fastest way to get your anxiety under control is to simply manage it.
Stress defined as "an internal state which can be caused by physical, social and environmental situations which are an appraisal by the body as potentially harmful and threatening. Here physical, social and environment situations are known as stressors.
Till 1930, stress was primarily used in the context of engineers and defined merely as a strain on a material object. There is still a confusion between stress as a "cause" versus "trigger" or stress as a trigger or a response. It has seen that same stressor produce different reactions in the different individual. This response depends on the coping behaviour of the individual which include defensive behaviour, information seeking behaviour, affiliative behaviour and problem-solving behaviour. The genetic and environmental factor also plays a vital role in determining the stress responses.
Other factors determining the effect of stressor are
1. Nature of stressor: acute or chronic one
2. The frequency of stressor: exposed to a single occasion or multiple times
Body response to the stress
Many systems, including neurotransmitters, (noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin), hormones (CRH, ACTH, Cortisol), and the immune system involved in the manifestation of the stress response of the body. The overall impact of all these systems can be summarised as follows:
1. All these effects lead to the development of stress-related disorders, including major depression.
2. They decrease the cellular and innate immunity.
3. They increase the risk of cardiovascular disease like coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure.
4. Increases the risk of infections secondary to decrease in immunity.
Stress and psychiatric illness
Schizophrenia and other psychotic illness
Stress plays a significant role in the course of schizophrenia. The person with schizophrenia who resides with families with high expressed emotion has doubled relapse rate in comparison with family having low expressed emotions. Here expressed emotion refers to the attitude of the family member towards the person who has a mental disorder.
Stress and depression have a complicated interaction. There is a complex interaction between stress, environment factor and gene which determine the outcome.
Childhood adverse event like abuse, Interpersonal conflicts or serious illness in a close relative may trigger the onset of Panic Disorder and other Anxiety Disorder.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
PTSD develops after either experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event or life-altering event. Its symptoms are flashback, nightmares and severe anxiety and intrusing thought about the event-mostly uncontrollable one.
Panic disorder is a serious condition that can strike without any reason or warning and the symptoms last for about 10 minutes, such as; a fear for imminent death or losing control, chills, numbness of toes or fingers, stomach ache or nausea, trembling, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.
Over time, a person with panic disorder develops a constant fear of having another panic attack, which can affect daily functioning and general quality of life.
Is it a heart attack or a panic attack?
Most of the symptoms of a panic attack are physical, and many times these symptoms are so severe that people think they are having a heart attack. In fact, many people suffering from panic attacks make repeated trips to the doctor or the emergency room in an attempt to get treatment for what they believe is a life-threatening medical problem. While it’s important to rule out possible medical causes of symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, or difficulty breathing, it’s often panic that is overlooked as a potential cause—not the other way around.
What are the causes behind Panic Disorder?
Although the exact causes of panic attacks and panic disorder are unclear, the tendency to have panic attacks runs in families. There also appears to be a connection with major life transitions such as graduating from college and entering the workplace, getting married, and having a baby. Severe stress, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss can also trigger a panic attack.
Panic attacks can also be caused by medical conditions and other physical causes. Panic Disorder usually begins during late adolescence and early adulthood and is twice as common with women as compared to men.
How can Panic Disorder be treated?
Psychotherapy- It is a type of counseling wherein trained professionals assist people by discussing strategies for comprehending and stabilizing this disorder.
Cognitive Behavioral Theory- Cognitive behavioral theory aims at identifying possible triggers of panic attacks and helps one recognize and change their thought patterns and behaviors that stimulate such behavior.
Medication- Anti-depressant medicines are used to cure panic disorders, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), medications for reducing anxiety and certain cardiovascular medications such as beta-blockers to cope with situational anxiety.
When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:
Panic disorder is a condition that strikes without reason or caution and can be serious. Indications of panic disorder usually include sudden attacks of panic and anxiety, in addition to physical side effects, such as sweating and a pounding heart. During a fit of panic, the reaction is based on the circumstances, which may not be threatening in general, but triggers a feeling of panic. After some time, a person with a panic disorder builds up a consistent fear of having another fit of anxiety, which can influence the every day functioning and lifestyle in general. Panic disorder usually occurs alongside other conditions like depression, liquor abuse, or drug abuse.
You might experience the ill effects of a panic disorder if you:
The most common symptoms of a panic disorder are as follows:
While a single panic attack may just last a couple of minutes, the impact of the experience can leave a long lasting impression and make you susceptible to more such attacks. In case you have this issue, the repetitive fits of panic take an emotional toll. The memory of the fear that you felt during these attacks can affect your self-confidence and cause interruption to your regular day-to-day existence. In the end, this prompts to the following panic disorder effects:
Panic attacks can debilitate a person greatly. The panic or anxiety attacks can be extremely powerful and intense, whereby a person starts hallucinating. The level of hallucination can vary depending on the severity of the attack. Such people often hallucinate about something bad or catastrophic striking them. They lose self-composure. In extreme cases, they cut themselves off from the outside world and recoil into their safe zone (Agoraphobia).
Panic attacks, should, by no means, be confused with depression. These attacks can be essentially divided into three phases; the start phase, it then reaches the pinnacle or the zenith, before sliding down (fades away). The duration of a panic attack can vary from long to very long periods. The whole experience can leave a person depressed, traumatized and drained out (physically and emotionally). A timely medical assistance can prove to be extremely fruitful.
Panic attacks- its causative, signs and symptoms
A panic attack, can, indeed, come out of the blue (unexpectedly). Extreme emotional turmoil or anxiety can trigger such an attack. An over-excited nervous system might turn out to be the wrecker in chief, throwing life in jeopardy. A person might be unprepared to deal with such a situation. Though extremely difficult, the best thing would be to try and relax. The attack is just an extreme state of mind, an abstract feeling that can never come true. It will pass off soon. Panicking will only pile onto your agony. Identifying the associated symptoms can prove to be effective.
Some of the important symptoms associated with pain attacks include:
Few short-term behavioural therapies can be of great help. Meditation, yoga and certain breathing practices can effectively ward off physical and mental fatigue. CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a popular technique used to deal with panic attacks. This technique primarily emphasizes on the present conditions and factors resulting in panic and ways to minimize or completely eliminate the attacks.
You feel your heart begin to beat wildly in your chest as you break into a cold sweat and have trouble catching your breath; is this a heart attack or panic attack? Your first thought is that it's a heart attack since you have an impending feeling of doom which you may even have felt before your attack began. This makes your heart beat even faster and you become so overwhelmed that the feeling gets even worse until you begin to feel light-headed or maybe even pass out. This is a panic attack.
When you suffer from anxiety, the slightest thing can trigger a panic attack and some can be so intense that you can't imagine it being anything other than looming death. It's very common for those having an anxiety attack to mistake it for a heart attack and this fear is enough to just take over and really wreak havoc on your heart rate, but no matter how fast your heart beats or how panicked you feel; you are not having a heart attack and this episode will not kill you.
One thing that will prove helpful in dealing with this is learning the differences between the two:
Signs of a Heart Attack:
Pressure in the Chest (described as feeling like there is an elephant sitting on your chest).
Chest pain - note that this is not always present.
Pain in the right arm.
Pain in the back or shoulder blades for women.
Panic attack symptoms include:
Increased heart rate.
Sharp or stabbing chest pain that lasts only 5 to 10 seconds.
Pain that is localized to one small area.
Pain that usually occurs at rest.
Pain that accompanies anxiety.
Pain that is relieved or worsened when you change positions.
Pain that can be reproduced or worsened by pressing over the area of pain.
The bottom line: Be vigilant and get checked out promptly.
A panic attack can start suddenly and may be caused due a variety of reasons. A patient of depression and anxiety usually goes through such attacks. The symptoms of these attacks include sudden and persistent fear, the feeling of losing control, the feeling of having a heart attack, palpitations problem, sweating, dizzy spells and more. It has been medically proven that most adults go through at least one or more panic attacks in their lifetime.
Here are a few ways in which one can stop a panic attack:
Not allowing yourself run away from a situation is a sure shot way of dealing with panic as this condition the brain to be more accepting and resilient. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Panic disorder or panic attacks are common among people. We have come across this term many times before in our lives. So this article will deal with panic attacks and more about them.
What is panic disorder?
A panic attack is a sudden intense wave of extreme fear or anxiety which comes unexpectedly without any prior warning. There may not be any definite reason for the attack. It can also arrive when you are sleeping. The panic episodes usually stop after one but some people experience continuous episodes as well. Panic attacks are very dangerous to experience and it gives you a feeling of losing control or having a heart attack. A person who experiences panic attacks more often is said to have panic disorders.
Symptoms of panic disorder:
There are many important and identifiable symptoms related to Panic attacks and disorders. Let us have a look-
Causes for panic disorder:
Some quick tips
Panic attacks are sudden and unexpected. But there are a few things which you can do to prevent yourself from facing such a disorder.
If no improvement with these tips meet a psychiatrist. He can provide treatment in form of either psychotherapy (counseling) or medicines (which are safe and effective). In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. The phobia typically results in a rapid onset of fear and is present for more than six months. The affected person goes to great lengths to avoid the situation or object, to a degree greater than the actual danger posed. If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided, the affected person experiences significant distress. With blood or injury phobia, fainting may occur. Agoraphobia is often associated with panic attacks. Usually a person has phobias to a number of objects or situations.
Phobias can be divided into specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia. Types of specific phobias include those to certain animals, natural environment situations, blood or injury, and specific situations. The most common are fear of spiders, fear of snakes, and fear of heights. Occasionally they are triggered by a negative experience with the object or situation. Social phobia is when the situation is feared as the person is worried about others judging them. Agoraphobia is when fear of a situation occurs because it is felt that escape would not be possible.
It is recommended that specific phobias be treated with exposure therapy where the person is introduced to the situation or object in question until the fear resolves. Medications are not useful in this type of phobia. Social phobia and agoraphobia are often treated with some combination of counselling and medication. Medications used include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta-blockers.
Specific phobias affect about 6–8% of people in the Western world and 2–4% of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in a given year. Social phobia affects about 7% of people in the United States and 0.5–2.5% of people in the rest of the world. Agoraphobia affects about 1.7% of people. Women are affected about twice as often as men. Typically onset is around the age of 10 to 17. Rates become lower as people get older. People with phobias are at a higher risk of suicide.