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Panic Attack: Symptoms and a Solution?

 

Panic attack : An overview

panic attackPanic attacks are sudden, intense and overwhelming feelings of fear, which frequently come “out of the blue” for no obvious reason. When panic attacks occur, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety may be at such a high level of intensity, that you may feel like you are dying or “going crazy“. Frequently, individuals with panic attacks present unnecessarily to hospital emergency rooms, fearing heart attacks and a variety of other anxiety-related medical emergencies. Panic Attack Symptoms: Some experts believe panic attack symptoms are related to the “fight or flight” response that human beings have when they experience danger of any type. While the actual behavioral and physiological reaction may be totally out of proportion to the actual potential threat, individuals may respond as if they are reacting to a terribly dangerous situation. The entire central nervous system seems to be reacting dramatically to the “supposed threat“, manifesting itself in symptoms such as:

 

  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling unsteady
  • Heart beating rapidly
  • Faintness
  • Choking sensations
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Fears of losing control, dying, or “going crazy”
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Feelings of unreality

Panic Attacks: Summary and Comments:

Panic attacks are not usually dangerous, although they are terribly frightening. They usually appear suddenly without warning, and most individuals feel like there is nothing that can stop them. Fortunately, they usually pass within several minutes. The body cannot usually sustain the intensity of this response for much longer than a short period of time. However, attacks may repeat themselves over a period of time, sometimes recurring for hours. A pattern of panic attacks may lead to what may be defined as a panic disorder. Treatment is available in the form of medication and psychotherapy, which will be explored on other pages of this website.

By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist  (Health Psychology)

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