The first time someone experiences an anxiety or
panic attack they feel terrified and completely overwhelmed by the intensity
of the physical and psychological symptoms. The most common assumption is that
they are having a heart attack.
- pounding heartbeat, heart
palpitation with feeling of dread
- difficulty breathing, chest
feeling tight, feeling you can't get enough air
- chest pains and choking with
feeling of distress
- light-headedness, dizziness
- trembling, sweating, shaking
- hot flashes or sudden chills
- tingling in fingers and toes
or even other parts of the body
- nervousness, shaking and
- feeling detached from
- almost paralysing terror
- fear and deep anxiety often
without any known cause
- fear that you are going
crazy or that you are about to die.
There is a variety of known
causes of anxiety attacks. Most common are the loss of someone close either
through death or separation and an ongoing stressful situation in the
sufferer's life which seems to have them trapped such as their job. Attacks
can also be caused by other psychological problems such as Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and phobias. A number of
sufferers have a dependency on drugs, alcohol or tobacco. It is unfortunately
even possible for a sufferer to have inherited a predisposition to panic
After their first attack a
sufferer will more often than not go to the emergency room where they are told
that they were not experiencing a heart attack but a panic attack. If their
attacks continue they will usually then go to see their doctor.
The diagnosis will likely be
Anxiety or Panic Disorder. The doctor will prescribe either or both medication
and psychotherapy which is usually Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is claimed
that best results are achieved if the patient takes an indefinite course of
anti-depressant drugs and learns coping techniques through CBT. Sometimes
Hypnotherapy is thought to be helpful.
And that is about as far as the
medical establishment is able to help. The anxiety-ridden patient is left
facing a possible lifetime's course of medication with some coping techniques
to get by with.
About the Author:
But there is another way!
Check out my blog at
where I describe how I beat my anxiety attacks and made
them a thing of the past