Why do panic attacks happen?

Why do panic attacks happen?




Our bodies have been programmed with an inbuilt system called the fight, flight or freeze response. This response was designed to keep us safe 10,000 years ago where we may have had to fight or run away from danger at a moments notice. Alternatively  it may have been better to simply stay still - frozen to the spot. The fight, flight or freeze response causes a surge in adrenaline, which is what causes your heart rate to increase and the majority of your physical symptoms.


How will a panic attack affect you?

How will a panic attack affect you?



Usually a panic attack will affect you in 3 different ways; physically (in that you will experience real physical symptoms), psychologically (in that you will experience a change in your thought patterns) and behaviourally (in that you will find yourself behaving differently).  In short, panic attacks can affect you in a variety of ways.  The table below explains just some of the ways that panic attacks can impact on you:


What will it affect?

Impact on you

Body

Panic attacks can result in you experiencing very real physical affects.  For example, your heart rate can almost double. You may feel dizzy, sick or feel you can’t get your breath. You may feel tingling or numb or that you are choking. You could shake and feel unreal or get chest pains.
Actions
You may find it hard to stay in one place, feel the need to escape, or sit down. You may snap at people, or avoid places where you think you will panic. You may fear exerting yourself or be afraid to be alone in case something bad happens.

Thoughts

In experiencing a rush of fear you will find frightening thoughts running through your mind. These could be: that you are losing control and going to make a fool of yourself; that your physical health is in danger by having a heart attack/stroke; that you are losing your mind or going ‘mad’. Finally you may have the thought that something awful is going to happen, even if you don’t know what that is.


What is a panic attack?

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It is perfectly normal to occasionally feel anxious in certain situations. Sometimes the experience of anxiety can be sudden and strong, this can lead to a person feeling ‘panicky’.  Examples of situations that might normally cause you to feel panicky include:

Experiencing a ‘near miss’ in a car when someone runs into the road

Having a sense that you are being followed when walking home at night

Being on a flight and suddenly experiencing significant turbulence

A panic attack is quite different however from the types of situations listed above in that they seem to come ‘out of the blue’ and are usually associated with much stronger psychological and physiological feelings.  They may be triggered by a stronger fear of a particular situation or by thoughts about a situation that may or may not happen.


Panic attacks can be very frightening, and it is not unusual to get the feeling that something awful is going to happen, but this is not the case. NOTHING AWFUL WILL HAPPEN, PANIC ATTACKS ARE UNPLEASANT,  BUT THEY ARE NOT DANGEROUS



What is panic Medical treatment ?

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What is panic Medical treatment


It can be difficult to overcome panic attacks, but there are treatments and therapies. Sometimes you have to try several or combine, but the vast majority of people are able to reduce or eliminate acute anxiety attacks through these measures.

Therapies
The effectiveness of psychotherapy for treating anxiety disorders is well established. It is even the preferred treatment in many cases, before having to resort to drugs.
To treat anxiety attacks, therapy of choice is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. However, it may be worthwhile to involve another type of psychotherapy (analytical therapy, systemic, etc.) to avoid the symptoms move to reappear in other forms.
In practice, CBT usually take place in 10 to 25 sessions spaced a week, individual or group.
Therapy sessions are designed to inform on the state of panic and gradually change the "false beliefs," the misinterpretation and negative behaviors associated to replace them with more knowledge rational and realistic.
Several techniques can learn to stop the attacks, and to calm down when you feel the anxiety rising. Simple exercises should be done one week to another in order to progress. Note that CBT is helpful in reducing symptoms, but their goal is not to define the origin, the cause of the emergence of these panic attacks.
In other methods, assertiveness can be effective in improving the control of emotions and develop new behaviors adapted to react to situations deemed scary.
Analytic psychotherapy (psychoanalysis) can be useful when there are conflicting underlying elements related to psycho-emotional development of the individual.Drugs
Among the pharmacological treatments, several classes of drugs have been proven to reduce the frequency of attacks of acute anxiety.
Antidepressants are the treatment of choice, followed by anxiolytics (Xanax ®), however, who have a higher risk of addiction and side effects. These are therefore reserved for the treatment of the crisis, when it is prolonged and treatment is necessary.
In France, the two types of antidepressants recommandés5 to treat panic disorder over the long term:

  •     selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the principle is to increase the amount of serotonin in the synapses (the junction between two neurons) by inhibiting the reuptake of the latter. It is recommended especially paroxetine (Paxil ® / Paxil ®), escitalopram (Seroplex ® / Lexapro ®) and citalopram (Seropram ® / Celexa ®)
  •     tricyclic antidepressants such as (Anafranil ®) clomipramine.

In some cases, (Effexor ®) may also be prescribed venlafaxine.
Antidepressant treatment is initially prescribed for 12 weeks, then an assessment is made to determine further processing or modification.

what causes panic attack ?

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The mechanisms of anxiety attack are not very well known, but they interact in many biological genetic psychological factors, and cardio-respiratory.According to some theories, it would be inappropriate or excessive response to stress.



Thus, different situations of fear and anxiety (including that of not being able to breathe) can trigger hyperventilation, which can itself cause some symptoms, especially dizziness, numbness of limbs, tremors and palpitations1 .In turn, these symptoms worsen fear and anxiety. It is therefore a vicious circle that is self-sustaining.Finally, research has shown that the administration of certain substances (sodium lactate, nitrogen dioxide, ...) acting on the regulation of certain neurotransmitters trigger panic attacks.In the psychoanalytic approach, anxiety neurosis with panic disorder is part, has its origin in an accumulation of sexual arousal. The sexual drive would become a nervous tension.Related disordersIn the context of panic disorder, it is mainly found in psychopathological disorders. However, it is unclear whether it is the onset of panic disorder that will cause these disorders or if the presence of these disorders will lead the person to develop a panic disorder.According to some studies, the main psychological disorders associated with panic disorder are:
  •     depression
  •     social phobia (anxiety induced by social situations)
  •     a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  •     obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  •     symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (anxiety induced by trauma)

PrevalenceIt is estimated that 21 100 people live one day or another during their lives, experience a panic attack while only 1 in 100 people will develop panic disorder. Finally, panic attacks occur most often in young people (between 15 and 45 years) and are more common in women than in men.Evolution and complicationsAnxiety and panic attacks are not serious as such, but they can be impressive, even traumatic for the individual and his entourage.Some people will develop what is called anticipatory anxiety that is between two attacks panic attack, they live in fear of experiencing a panic attack again. This fear of the panic attack reappear anywhere, anytime can cause a significant drop in the quality of life of the person.Some psychiatric disorders (agoraphobia, depression) may occur secondary to repeated panic attacks. The fear of being invaded by a new attack in a public place without the possibility of being rescued can induce new fears such as fear of going out, being in the presence of strangers or participate in various social or professional activities.Finally, in some people, seizure frequency is very high (several per day), this is called panic disorder. The risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, passing through the act of suicide, abuse of drugs or alcohol is increased with panic attacks fréquentes2.However, with proper care, it is possible to control the anxiety and reduce the frequency of seizures.

3 Tips on Surviving After an Anxiety and Panic Attack



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Dealing with anxiety and panic attack onset is one thing, but the aftermath following an attack is very much another. Once anxiety attacks occur, an individual can be left worried, bewildered, dismayed, emotionally strained, and embarrassed.


Fortunately, there are things that can be done that can help in assuaging all of the latter feelings and emotions. Let's take a look at three proven ways to deal with panic and anxiety attacks after they occur and the emotional aftermath that accompanies such attacks.

Anxiety and Panic Attack Aftermath Tips


• Get informed about anxiety and panic coping techniques
• Realize the very real causes for your panic
• Understand that you are not alone in having attacks

Become Informed

Ultimately, the old cliche that "knowledge is power," is well remembered because the statement is incredibly true. When you gain an understanding about anxiety and panic attack issues, you will be better prepared in the event that another attack occurs. While you may discover that there are no 100 percent certainties in
terms of what actually makes attacks happen, you can learn about the probable causes, how to cope, and what kinds of treatments and therapies there are available to you.

Realize the Reality of Panic Attacks


Coming to the understanding that these attacks aren't all in the mind and that your experiences are real will help you when it comes time to cope with panic episodes. You must acknowledge that your body is attempting to communicate with you and it is trying to make you aware of emotions and stress that you
might not otherwise acknowledge.

Knowing that you are not going crazy and that your body is responding in very real ways to emotional states can also help you in getting over the embarrassment that you might feel when you do have an attack.

Understanding that You Are Not Alone


Experts estimate that approximately ten percent of all healthy individuals in the United States at some point experience an anxiety attack onset at least one time annually. Just because you have experienced an attack, it does not mean that you are the only person in the world that is experiencing such issues. Knowing that
you are not alone, that many people experience the same feelings and symptoms, and that there are methods that make anxiety and panic attack management possible goes a long way in helping you get over the panic episode.

Great Tips on How to Stop Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks!

                      
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A panic attack is a sudden experience of extreme anxiety and fear. It occurs without warning and for no particular reasons. The symptoms of these attacks include heart palpitations, headaches, backaches, trembling, improper vision, sweating and at times an acute fear of dying. Although they can be very distressing, they generally cause no physical harm and tend to last between five and twenty minutes. The real problem is psychological; regular panic attacks can seriously hamper an individual's social and professional life.

Here are 4 great ways to help stop anxiety attacks today!

1. Diet: A diet rich in vitamins and other nutrients is the bedrock of any treatment plan. At the same time, it has been found that a diet rich in specific minerals like magnesium and potassium helps prevent panic attacks. Experts also claim that regular consumption of stimulants like alcohol and caffeine can lead to increased nervous system imbalances which will lead to more attacks. Thus such stimulants must be eradicated from the diet of any individual suffering from panic or anxiety attacks.

2. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT is the name given to a number of behavioural techniques which are used by psychologists and psychiatrists to help individuals suffering from these anxiety attacks. CBT is a psychotherapy treatment which includes group therapy, breathing and relaxation techniques and other forms of therapy which help affected individuals become calmer and also help them identify the triggers that lead to panic attacks. CBT is arguable considered one of the most successful treatment to stop.

3. Medication: Anti-psychotic drugs are used to treat individuals who experience recurring panic attacks. Since these medications can have potentially serious side-effects, they should be taken under strict medical supervision. Two main types of medications, viz. SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and benzodiazepines are used to treat these attacks and even panic disorder. The long term use of such medicines can lead to dependency, suicidal tendencies and a host of other serious side-effects.

4. Alternative Treatments: It has been proposed that various alternative treatments like special diets, special therapies, neurofeedback and even homeopathy have therapeutic value in the treatment of panic attacks.
Unfortunately, such claims are hard to test and results might vary wildly from one person to the next.
 
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