A sudden fear grips you, and you begin to feel strange physical symptoms and sensations of doom and worry. Is this a panic attack? Sudden, overwhelming fear: That’s panic in a nutshell. You may have felt that kind of sudden, overwhelming fear in terrifying situations – like when you’re forced to slam on the brakes to narrowly miss a car speeding through a red light or when a large dog lunges at you with teeth bared. But a panic attack can happen at moments that have nothing to do with terror – like in the midst of a deep sleep or a dull meeting or while in a class or stuck in traffic or in line at the grocery store. And you don’t have to have a diagnosed panic disorder to experience a panic attack. Panic attacks come on suddenly and unpredictably, and often peak after about 10 to 20 minutes mark. An attack may include several or many of the following symptoms: a sudden feeling of impending doom or death a feeling like you need to escape from where you are a fear of losing control or “going crazy” a feeling of unreality or like you’re detached from yourself rapid heart rate, chest pain, or discomfort sweating, chills, or hot flashes shortness of breath tightness in your throat or trouble swallowing numbness or tingling sensations
Full story: Panic attack symptoms: Am I having a panic attack? – Mental Health – C-Health
Your lungs. Studies have shown that there is a relationship between those who suffer from anxiety disorders and asthma. People who suffer from asthma are also more likely to experience panic attacks . According to research conducted by the University of Sao Paulo , there could also be a link between anxiety, asthma and its effects on balance. Your brain. The most prominent reaction to anxiety is the psychological response to the condition. Chronic stress and anxiety can affect areas of the brain that influence long-term memory, short-term memory and chemical production, which can result in an imbalance. Additionally, chronic stress can constantly activate the nervous system which can in turn influence other systems in the body, triggering physical reactions, wear-and-tear on the body, fatigue and more. People who suffer from anxiety also often have trouble falling asleep due to ruminating over worrisome thoughts. Approximately 54 percent of people say stress and anxiety influences their ability to drift off and more than 50 percent of men and more than 40 percent of women have trouble focusing the next day as a result , according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
More: How Anxiety Influences Your Health (INFOGRAPHIC)
One of the biggest sources of panic is the fear of having another attack. Connection to addiction Drugs and alcohol are often used by those with panic disorder as a way to calming themselves or numb their fear of a looming attack.A study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that 10 percent to 20 percent of individuals with panic disorder struggle with substance abuse and that alcoholism occurs in 10 percent to 40 percent of those who have panic disorder. However, since alcohol and drug abuse can trigger panic attacks, this attempt at self-medication often exacerbates the problem. The symptoms of panic disorder often precede substance abuse or alcoholism. Treatment While some people with very limited triggers can manage to avoid certain situations, those with frequent, full-fledged panic attacks can become very disabled by their condition. [ Related: To Stave Off Panic, Don’t Take a Deep Breath ] Sufferers can generally receive successful treatment before they start to avoid places or situations where panic attacks have occurred. Unchecked, panic disorder can be disabling and evolve into agoraphobia the sufferer prefers to remain housebound or only goes out on a limited basis with a small circle of trusted people. Early treatment can often prevent panic disorder from developing into agoraphobia, but it can sometimes be a tough condition to diagnose. However, once a diagnosis is in place, it is one of the most treatable of all of the anxiety disorders.
Full story: Panic Disorder: Causes & Treatment for Panic Attacks | LiveScience
Most people with GAD realize that their concerns are overblown, but they cannot seem to shake their anxiety. The symptoms typically come on slowly, typically between childhood and middle age, but they can occur at any time. In some instances, a major life event, such as a change in heath or a life transition such as a divorce, can trigger the onset of GAD. The symptoms tend to ebb and flow, but can be exacerbated during times of stress. What sets the worry of GAD suffers apart from the normal concerns is that the worry is intrusive, excessive, debilitating and persistent and lasts for more than six months. In terms of behavior, GAD can cause difficulty in concentrating or focusing, and an inability to relax, enjoy quiet time, or to be alone. Fatigue, nausea and headaches are some of the physical symptoms of GAD. Some experience hot flashes, trembling, sweating and frequent urges to go to the bathroom. Sleeplessness is another sign of GAD, because those with the disorder often feel as if they cant stop their mind from racing. People with GAD are also jumpy, fidgety and easily startled, as the disorder causes a sensation of always being on edge. Like those with panic disorder, GAD sufferers have difficulty with everyday tasks.
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